Helena Lyng Blak
10 weeks ago

What are the next steps in the US ban of TikTok?

The bill to ban TikTok moves on to the Senate.
TikTok app logo crossed out with red Ban sign displayed on phone screen with the US flag background.
salarko / Shutterstock.com

A bill that would either force TikTok to divest from its parent company ByteDance or else find itself banned in the US was passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Here are the next steps.

Moving on to the Senate

First and foremost, the bill is moving on to the Senate, where it will need to be passed in order to advance further in the process. If Senate lawmakers approve the legislation, it will reach the President’s desk.

President Joe Biden has already endorsed the legislation and has declared that he will sign it, should Congress pass the bill.

Thus, it seems like the bill’s only hurdle is the Senate.

And a hurdle that may be. On Thursday, Senate lawmakers called for a more "cautious deliberation", slowing the rapid pace, the bill has otherwise moved in.

Any takers?

If the legislation passes, ByteDance will have six months to sell the social media app before it gets banned nationwide in the US. While it is certainly an option, New York Times tech journalists David McCabe and Sapna Maheshwari deem a sale difficult. They argue that TikTok is simply too valuable for a large number of companies or individuals to be able to buy the app - or even just its US operations.

Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that TikTok’s US business alone could be worth $35 to $40 billion.

Former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, however, has proclaimed an interest in acquiring TikTok alongside potential co-investors, Bloomberg reports. Mnuchin served as Secretary of the Treasury under the Trump administration. Back then, former President Donald Trump was among the first to raise alarm over TikTok’s ties to China.

Mnuchin currently runs a private investment firm that is backed, among others, by Saudi Arabia.

Growing opposition

In a surprising turn of events, however, former President and Republican presidential candidate Trump has withdrawn his support for a ban on TikTok.

He joins the growing opposition, which also includes multiple free speech groups and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).


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