New Legislation Threatens TikTok Ban in the U.S. - ByteDance Given Five-Month Ultimatum

By Quincy Cahilig

Mar 05, 2024 08:03 PM EST

Popular video-sharing app TikTok is facing another measure that could ban its operations in the United States. 

To force ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, to divest its app within five months or risk having it forbidden in the United States, House Representatives have filed the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. 

(Photo : BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)A person holds a sign during a press conference about their opposition to a TikTok ban on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 22, 2023.

TikTok Seen as a Serious Threat to US Security

According to CNBC, US House Representatives Mike Gallagher and Raja Krishnamoorthi's proposal claims TikTok is controlled by a foreign rival, threatening national security. If the measure succeeds, ByteDance will have a limited time to divest TikTok, and Apple and Google will have to stop supporting it.

A representative for TikTok quickly criticized the proposed law as an outright prohibition that violates the First Amendment rights of its 170 million American users and hurts five million small companies that depend on the platform for development and job creation.

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A December Pew Research Center study found a reduction in US support for a TikTok ban, indicating a change in popular opinion. Committee sources said Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi's plan addresses issues that have slowed earlier initiatives. However, political concerns about TikTok's popularity among US users and practical difficulties about loopholes that users may use to access the app after a ban persist.

Democrats opposed a Republican-backed TikTok ban last year, arguing it was hasty and might violate free speech. Notably, President Biden recently launched a TikTok account amid security concerns, according to a report from The Hill.

The measure will be addressed Thursday (Mar. 7) by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 

Universal-TikTok Feud Over AI-Generated Music

VC Post previously reported that Universal Music Group (UMG) pulled their songs off TikTok over AI-generated content concerns. CEO Lucian Grainge expressed concern that TikTok's embrace of AI-generated music will reduce compensation for human artists, dividing the industry.

Competitors Warner Music and Sony have taken a more cautious approach, carefully navigating their licensing deals with TikTok. This move sparked broader concerns within the music community about the unauthorized use of artists' voices and likenesses in AI-generated content. Artists like Lainey Wilson are pushing for legislative protection, leading to bills like the No AI Fraud Act. 

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