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TikTok’s future in the US? Here’s everything you need to know
The US government has accused TikTok of sharing user data with the Chinese government, and of being a threat to national security. While TikTok has denied these claims, many governments and institutions around the world have already banned TikTok on government phones, including the US, Britain, the European Union, the Dutch and Belgian administrations, the New Zealand parliament, and the governments of Canada, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Jordan.
TikTok has been criticized for its data collection practices, has been accused of sharing user data with the Chinese government, and of being a tool for Chinese espionage. The US government is also concerned about the potential for TikTok to be used to spread propaganda and disinformation.
The RESTRICT Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate this month, allows the U.S. Commerce Secretary to ban foreign technology companies, as well as their products and services if they pose a national security risk.
The Biden administration is pushing for TikTok’s Chinese owners, ByteDance, to sell it or face a ban on all US devices. One option the US government is encouraging is for TikTok to spin off from ByteDance so it can be acquired by a US company, but antitrust enforcers would scrutinize any deal.
Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to block TikTok with an executive order was challenged under the First Amendment. The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects freedom of speech, and a ban on TikTok could be challenged in court. Also, the current legislation being considered would need to be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. It’s also unclear how the Biden administration might implement a ban.
TikTok has 150 million US monthly active users. If TikTok is banned in the US, it would mean that users would no longer be able to download or use the app. The app would also be removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play, as well as blocked by internet service providers. This would make it difficult for users to access TikTok on their phones.
If TikTok is banned in the US, the Chinese government would probably retaliate by banning US companies from operating in China.
In my opinion, a ban on TikTok in the US is not impossible, but it’s unlikely to happen soon due to legal challenges and the complexity of implementing such a ban. It will take time.
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