The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban. Will the US ban the app? What you need to know.

The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban. Will the US ban the app? What you need to know.
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If signed into law, the bill would prevent app stores like Apple and Google from distributing or updating TikTok and web hosting companies from distributing it. Time may be running out for TikTok.

In March, the House voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill that would force Chinese parent company ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations. The bill then moved to the Senate, where its future was uncertain.

This week House Speaker Mike Johnson tied the measure to a foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel, putting it on a fast track to becoming law and increasing the possibility of a ban in the United States.

The House is set to vote on the emergency spending package this weekend. The Senate is expected to take up the measure next week and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it.

The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban. Will the US ban the app? What you need to know.
The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban. Will the US ban the app? What you need to know.

What would the TikTok bill do?

The bill would would be a major blow to the popular app which is used by as many as 170 million Americans. It would force ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations within months of the legislation becoming law or face a nationwide ban.

“It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform,” TikTok wrote in a post on X Wednesday.

What happens if Biden signs the TikTok bill?

Even if Biden signs the bill into law, it will face a slew of legal challenges from TikTok and its supporters.

TikTok says it will exhaust all legal avenues before it considers divestiture from ByteDance. The popular app has successfully fought back similar measures in the courts.

When would ByteDance be forced to sell TikTok?

The bill itself gives ByteDance nearly a year to divest TikTok – nine months, with a possible three-month extension – far longer than the six-month deadline the original House measure proposed.

Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell of Washington State said the extended deadline could help the bill survive legal challenges.

Why does Congress want to ban TikTok?

The popular app has faced scrutiny over its Chinese control which lawmakers say poses a national security threat.

TikTok says it has never been asked to provide U.S. user data to the Chinese government and wouldn’t anyway.

TikTok has also come under fire for the way its algorithm recommends videos to users, including videos on sensitive subjects and videos about the Israel-Hamas war

Would TikTok parent company ByteDance sell TikTok?

TikTok has said it considers any law that would force a sale as the equivalent of a ban because of the hurdles facing any deal.

Divestiture also would require Beijing’s approval. Last year, the Chinese government said it opposed a forced sale.

Who would buy TikTok?

“While the price tag will be eye-popping, TikTok’s strategic value and consumer platform will have a number of financial and tech strategic players interested,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.

Investor groups and major tech giants including Microsoft, Apple and Oracle will consider bids, according to Ives. He also expects joint bids from a handful of Big Tech companies.The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban. Will the US ban the app? What you need to know.

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary have also expressed interest in buying TikTok.

An initial public offering or a spin-off are two other potential outcomes, Ives said.

What about the TikTok algorithm?

Another key challenge is TikTok’s secret and powerful algorithm that recommends videos to users. The bill prohibits ByteDance from controlling the algorithm. China has cracked down on Chinese tech companies exporting those technologies.

Ives said China and ByteDance “will never allow the source code to be sold to a US tech company in our view.”

In addition, “detaching the algorithm from ByteDance would be a very complex process with much scrutiny from US regulators,” he said.

How would a TikTok ban work?

If signed into law, the bill would prevent app stores like Apple and Google from distributing or updating TikTok and web hosting companies from distributing it.

Who would benefit from a TikTok ban?

YouTube, Facebook and Instagram would benefit most from a TikTok ban. Snapchat and Pinterest could also draw users and advertising dollars from TikTok, analysts say.

YouTube continues to be the No. 1 app with teens. Nine in 10 teens use the app followed by TikTok (63%), Snapchat (60%) and Instagram (59%) , according to Pew Research Center. Teens are less likely to use Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) than they were a decade ago.

In 2020, India banned TikTok and more than 200 other apps after an incident at the Chinese border. Most users switched to Instagram or YouTube.

What do Americans think about a TikTok ban?

The American public remains divided.

Nearly half of the respondents in a CNBC All-America Economic Survey poll taken in March say TikTok should be banned or sold to a non-Chinese company.The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban. Will the US ban the app? What you need to know.

Forty percent of Democrats and 60% of Republicans support a ban or a sale of the popular app, the survey found.

The Impending TikTok Ban in the US


TikTok, a video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has been a topic of controversy over its security, among other concerns. The app is used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from fifteen seconds to one minute (three minutes for some users). TikTok is an international version of Douyin, which was originally released in the Chinese market in September 2016.

The app was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in most markets outside of mainland China; however, it only became available worldwide after merging with the Chinese app on August 2, 2018. The merge created a larger video community, with an existing user base, and greater diversity of video creation.

Shortly after its release, TikTok rose to global prominence. After claiming the title of the world’s most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018, surpassing Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps, TikTok went on to claim the title of the world’s second most downloaded app in 2019. This popularity has been especially prevalent in the US. In the first quarter of 2018, TikTok claimed the position as the world’s most downloaded iOS app, and in the US, one in every eight people were said to have downloaded the app on their mobile devices.The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban. Will the US ban the app? What you need to know.

Background of TikTok

In late 2017, ByteDance, the operator of TikTok since 2018, had spent as much as $1 billion to purchase the social media app The intention for this purchase was to incorporate the two apps together and blend them into one single platform. TikTok was set to the international market, having successfully gained a footing in China with the app Douyin. Making a debut onto the world stage, this led TikTok to splurge $3 million in 2020 to air an ad during Superbowl LIV, in turn signifying the intent ByteDance has to bringing this platform much bigger to the U.S and into the lives of consumers. Two years later, and this app has done just that.

In September 2016, Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang set out to create an educational app, where this idea soon developed into what is now known as TikTok. TikTok, previously known as, was a platform aimed at being a destination for short-form mobile videos. Like Vine and Snapchat, the app would revolve around people interacting with each other, and Zhu mentioned that it would be a more entertaining model for people and easier for people to produce the content. With realizing that there is a shift away from the app’s original intent, is when the momentum for TikTok began.

Significance of TikTok in the US

TikTok is one of the most widely used social networking apps in the world. The app has gained popularity through its fun and catchy lip-syncing videos performed by individuals to the tunes of popular music or voice overs. TikTok entered the US market in 2018 when it merged with

Since then, it has been downloaded over 165 million times in the US where it has 100 million active monthly users and 50 million daily users. TikTok has a large and engaged audience in the US, especially among Generation Z and Millennials and ranks 7th among the most downloaded apps in the US.

The significance of TikTok in the US is also tied to various celebrities, companies, and media accounts which use TikTok to advertise and promote their products. In essence, TikTok is a portable and easy-to-use entertainment platform which is known for providing a casual and light-hearted user experience. It is often a means by which individuals seek to unwind or kill time. Currently, it can be said that the app is a hallmark of modern US pop culture.

The power of TikTok as a social media platform is undeniable. TikTok has become influential in organizing events and trends. The platform was responsible for a recent turnout of over 6000 individuals to a Trump rally on June 20th, 2020 through a coordinated prank in which TikTok users reserved tickets for the rally with no intention of actually going. In addition to this, users on TikTok recently banded together to inflate the stock price of GameStop.

TikTok is also known for having started or popularizing various internet challenges and trends which have been performed and shared across multiple social media platforms by individuals in various countries. Although there are many who criticize TikTok and its influence, it is clear that the app has had a large effect on US culture and internet culture.

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