US House Panel Advances Bill Targeting TikTok’s Parent Company

A bill aimed at compelling TikTok’s China-based parent company to divest the app within six months or face potential prohibition has gained approval from a US congressional panel. The measure, which cites national security apprehensions, has received backing from the White House and awaits a full House floor vote following its unanimous approval of 50-0 by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Introduced by a bipartisan coalition of 20 lawmakers comprising the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, the bill underscores concerns regarding ByteDance’s purported ties with the Chinese Communist Party, a claim vehemently denied by both ByteDance and TikTok.

TikTok, in response, has rallied its users to voice opposition to the proposed legislation, prompting a flurry of calls to congressional offices. Despite criticism from committee chairpersons regarding TikTok’s mobilization efforts, the platform contends that engaging with constituents is a fundamental aspect of congressional responsibilities.

The bill emphasizes safeguarding national security interests by addressing perceived threats posed by foreign adversary-controlled applications. Proponents assert that the legislation does not amount to an outright ban on TikTok but rather provides ByteDance with a grace period to comply with divestiture requirements.

Nevertheless, TikTok characterizes the bill as an outright ban that would infringe upon the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans and stifle small business growth. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) echoes these sentiments, denouncing the legislative move as an attempt to score political points at the expense of free speech and communication freedoms.

The proposed legislation marks the latest in a series of endeavors by American lawmakers to regulate TikTok, which has already been barred on US government devices. Despite previous attempts to ban TikTok under the Trump administration facing legal hurdles, the platform remains under scrutiny, signaling ongoing concerns about its operations and ownership.

For more information, you can visit news360gh.com.

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