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TikTok CEO calls on users to fight US ban

The Senate is due to vote on a bill which could see the social media platform removed from American app stores

TikTok CEO Shou Chew has claimed that banning the social media platform in the US will endanger the livelihoods of thousands of Americans. His comments came after the House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that could force TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell the platform or face a nationwide ban.

Should the bill be passed by the Senate, President Joe Biden has said he will sign it into law. Responding to the House vote, Chew called the decision “disappointing” and warned of its potential consequences.

“This legislation, if signed into law, will lead to a ban of TikTok in the United States. Even the bill sponsors admit that that’s their goal. This bill gives more power to a handful of other social media companies,” Chew said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter).

“Our platform matters to the small business owners who rely on TikTok to make ends meet and to the teachers who inspire millions of students to learn and to everyone who discovers and finds joy on TikTok,” he added.

“You will take billions of dollars out of the pockets of creators in small businesses. You will put more than 300,000 American jobs at risk.”

Chew signaled that TikTok will exercise its “legal rights” to prevent a ban, and urged users to support its efforts.

“I encourage you to keep sharing your stories, share them with your friends, share them with a family, share them with the senators, protect your constitutional rights, make your voices heard,” he stated.

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US government moves closer to banning TikTok

The bill, led by House China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher and ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi, paints TikTok as a “national security threat” because of ByteDance’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). While TikTok is the only application specifically mentioned in the document, it creates a framework for Washington to ban other platforms controlled by countries it considers “foreign adversaries.” The list of nations labelled as such includes China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela.

If inked into law, the bill would give ByteDance 165 days to divest TikTok. If it fails to do so, US web-hosting companies would have to remove TikTok and other apps linked to ByteDance from their app stores.

 

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