Biden signs and enacts law mandating TikTok sale or ban in US

The bill has now become law, giving ByteDance nine months to sell the app, with a possible three-month extension.

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President Joe Biden has signed into law a foreign aid package that includes a provision to ban TikTok if its China-based parent company, ByteDance, fails to divest the app within a year. The legal action sets a deadline for ByteDance to take action, with an initial nine-month period to finalise a deal, extendable by another three months if progress is evident.

By the way..

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has opted to maintain its presence on TikTok despite Biden signing a bill that mandates the sale or potential ban of the Chinese-owned app within the US due to security apprehensions. The campaign emphasised that TikTok serves as a crucial platform to engage with voters, particularly the younger demographic, stating it’s vital to meet them where they are. The Biden team assured us they would implement enhanced security measures on TikTok, although specifics were not disclosed for security reasons.

The Biden-Harris campaign’s TikTok account boasts over 300,000 followers and has been instrumental in sharing campaign content, including videos of the president and other political figures.

Initially, the legislation faced uncertainty in the Senate after passing in the House as a standalone bill. However, strategic political tactics in the House saw the TikTok bill combined with foreign aid to US allies, which compelled the Senate to consider and ultimately pass the measures together. The revised bill extended the divestment timeline from six months to a year, garnering broader support among lawmakers.

TikTok has indicated its intention to challenge the law in court even though legal challenges could delay enforcement, impacting the timeline for divestment. Additionally, there are uncertainties about China’s response and whether ByteDance will be permitted to sell TikTok along with its algorithm, a key asset driving the app’s popularity.

Why does it matter?

The enactment of this legislation underscores ongoing concerns among lawmakers about national security risks posed by TikTok’s ownership under a Chinese parent company. While the law aims to address these concerns, the legal and geopolitical ramifications of ByteDance’s divestment efforts and any ensuing legal battles remain to be seen.