TikTok ban just got the House's nod, and it might be law real soon

TikTok logos in a pattern on a monitor
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The House passed a bill that could lead to TikTok being sold to a US company or banned in the country if ByteDance doesn't comply.
  • The TikTok ban is part of a larger bill addressing sanctions on countries like Russia and providing aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza.
  • Bundling the TikTok bill with a foreign aid package in the House makes it a higher priority and potentially harder for the Senate to delay.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill that might lead to TikTok getting the boot in the country unless its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, sells the app to a US company.

On Saturday, the House voted 360-58 to push forward a bill that brings the possibility of banning TikTok in the US closer to reality, CBS reports. This bill had previously cleared the House in March but hit a roadblock in the Senate.

This time, the House bundled up a revamped version of the bill with a foreign aid package, which suggests it's now a bigger deal and could be tougher for the Senate to delay.

The TikTok ban is just one piece of a bigger bill dealing with sanctions on countries like Russia. It's tagged along with a bunch of other measures aimed at providing military support to Ukraine and Israel, plus humanitarian aid to Gaza.

TikTok previously said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that the bill  infringes on free speech rights and would harm businesses and the US economy.

Since these funds are urgently needed, bundling TikTok with them means the Senate has to give it a quicker look than if it were on its own. In the earlier version, ByteDance had only six months to find a new owner. But after some back-and-forth talks, a compromise was reached, and now the revised bill heads to the Senate.

If it becomes law, ByteDance has a whole year to find a buyer. And you can bet the company will probably fight it in court, claiming it infringes on the First Amendment rights of TikTok's millions of users.

The push for this ban comes from both sides of the aisle in Congress, worrying about TikTok's ties to China. Some legislators are scared China might use the app to push propaganda to the US crowd. Plus, there's a lot of fretting about the heaps of data TikTok is scooping up on millions of American users.

However, critics of the bill have pointed out that banning TikTok might not do much to safeguard Americans' data after all.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mentioned that the Senate is hashing out the details for the next vote on the foreign aid package that includes the TikTok bill. President Joe Biden has already stated he's on board with the bill if Congress gives it the green light.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • OhAlfie
  • cribble2k
    I hope we do the same in Canada.
  • SeeBeeEss
    Great, now do X. While the potential for the Chinese government to manipulate the medium or to have access to the private information of millions of people throughout the world via TikTok is a cause for concern, shouldn't the same uneasiness apply to an erratic nutjob?
  • OhAlfie
    X isn't in same league as the compromised Tik Tok.

    There are no issues with X, unless you want to just shut down a social media platform because it doesn't think the way you do.
  • notforhire
    it's not a ban. please. it's a divestment/sale requirement. and it won't happen.
  • AppletoDroid40
    Never used it and never will. Let's be honest though, all phones and apps spy on us. TikTok just happens to be from China.