US House passes bill to ban Tiktok

US House passes bill to ban Tiktok

The House voted Wednesday to pass legislation that could ban TikTok in the U.S. as Republicans and Democrats alike sound the alarm that the popular video-sharing app, owned by a China-based company, is a national security threat.

The vote was 352-65, with one member, Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, voting present.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain fate and there appears to be less urgency to act.

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“Communist China is America’s largest geopolitical foe and is using technology to actively undermine America’s economy and security,” Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said in a statement after the vote, warning that TikTok could be used to access American data and spread “harmful” information.

“Today’s bipartisan vote demonstrates Congress’ opposition to Communist China’s attempts to spy on and manipulate Americans, and signals our resolve to deter our enemies.”

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TikTok, owned by China-based parent company ByteDance, has mounted an aggressive lobbying campaign to kill the legislation, arguing that it would violate the First Amendment rights of its 170 million U.S. users and harm thousands of small businesses that rely on it.

“You will be destroying small businesses like us; this is our livelihood. We’ve created success,” Paul Tran, who, with his wife, has a skin care company called Love and Pebble, said at a pro-TikTok rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday.

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He said their business nearly shut down last year until TikTok Shop came along and “totally exploded our business.” Now 90% of their business comes from the app, he said.

“If you pass this bill,” Tran said, “you will be destroying the American Dream that we really believe in.”

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