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ByteDance on the clock as Biden signs TikTok ban bill into law

TikTok CEO Shou Chew says it is “A ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice”
ByteDance on the clock as Biden signs TikTok ban bill into law
  • The newly enacted law has now placed a countdown for ByteDance to either sell TikTok or face a ban

US president Joe Biden has penned a foreign aid package containing a bill to ban Chinese video sharing platform TikTok if its parent company ByteDance refuses to sell in one year.

Having previously only been likely to be passed the newly enacted law is now real and has placed a countdown for ByteDance to either sell TikTok or face a ban. ByteDance also has nine months to negotiate a deal, with a possible extension of three months granted by the president if deemed necessary.

After facing potential stalling in the Senate, the legislation, initially passed in the House as a standalone bill, was successfully maneuvered to Biden's desk. The TikTok bill, extending divestment time from six to nine months, was combined with foreign aid to US allies, prompting the Senate to consider both simultaneously.

We'll see you in court

TikTok took to X (formerly Twitter) to respond to the ban which it calls an “unconstitutional law" and “we will challenge it in court," wrote the company.

“We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail. The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation."

“This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans. As we continue to challenge this unconstitutional ban, we will continue investing and innovating to ensure TikTok remains a space where Americans of all walks of life can safely come to share their experiences, find joy, and be inspired," said TikTok.

One lingering uncertainty is China's potential reaction and its willingness to permit ByteDance to sell TikTok, particularly its highly valued algorithm, which plays a pivotal role in retaining users.

“Make no mistake, this is a ban,” TikTok CEO Shou Chew said in a video posted on TikTok Wednesday, April 24th 2024 objecting to some lawmakers’ assertions that they just want to see the platform disconnected from Chinese ownership. “A ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice.”