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Efforts to compel a TikTok sale in the US are gaining traction in Congress

ByteDance faces pressure to sell TikTok (Via Steve Cummins/Shutterstock)

Efforts in Congress to compel ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to sell the app or face a U.S. ban are gaining momentum.

The House of Representatives has set a vote for Saturday on a $95 billion package that includes aid for allies such as Ukraine and Israel, along with the TikTok provision.

Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, supports the bill, which extends ByteDance’s deadline to sell from six months to a year.

Concerns about national security persist, with worries that China could access data from TikTok’s 170 million U.S. users. TikTok denies sharing U.S. data and opposes the legislation.

Initially hesitant, Cantwell now sees the extended divestment period as crucial for potential buyers to complete a sale. The legislation aims to provide a robust framework to address broad concerns about foreign apps.

TikTok argues restrictions (Via Joe Goldberg/Getty Images)

ByteDance’s reluctance to sell has heightened tensions. TikTok argues that restrictions could limit free speech and impact many American businesses, potentially violating First Amendment rights.

Despite TikTok’s objections, lawmakers are moving forward, stressing the need to address potential security risks urgently.

Cantwell emphasizes the importance of strong legislation that can withstand legal challenges and effectively regulate apps owned by foreign entities.

This bipartisan effort reflects widespread concern about foreign influence in the digital realm. With support from figures like Cantwell, the legislation gains credibility and sets the stage for potential changes in TikTok’s ownership structure.

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