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TikTok Ban Heads to Senate

The US House of Representatives voted 352-65 yesterday to ban TikTok in the US unless its Chinese-based parent company, Bytedance, divests the popular social video network's US operations within six months. The bill's prospects in the Senate are unclear, though President Joe Biden has said he would sign the bill should it pass.

The legislation is rooted in long-standing concerns from US officials that China could access the personal data of American users of the app—like browsing history, location, or biometrics. Fueling this worry is China's 2017 National Intelligence Law, which requires Chinese businesses to cooperate with national intelligence efforts. A ban would significantly disrupt TikTok's 170 million US monthly active users and 5 million businesses, likely pushing them and advertisers to competitors Meta, Google, and Snap.

A federal judge blocked a Montana state ban on TikTok in November over concerns it infringed on First Amendment speech rights. The ban proposal comes on the heels of TikTok's worst quarter for annual user growth in company history. 

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