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President Biden signs law to potentially ban TikTok if not sold

TikTok has become a significant force in the realm of short-form video, boasting a user base of 170 million in the US.

President Joe Biden.

The law mandates that TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, must divest its interest in the app within one year or face a ban. This legislation represents the most significant action taken by the US in its ongoing technology dispute with China.

Despite the potential implications for TikTok, immediate disruptions to the app's operations are unlikely. Legal challenges and logistical difficulties in selling the app are expected to delay any immediate effects. The law was incorporated into a broader bill that also includes foreign aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

ByteDance, a Chinese tech giant, acquired the then-popular karaoke app Musical.ly in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok. Since its rebranding, the app has been scrutinized by U.S. national security officials over concerns of potential influence by the Chinese government.

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Nevertheless, TikTok has become a significant force in the realm of short-form video, boasting a user base of 170 million in the U.S., and is a primary news source for one-third of the country's young people, according to Pew Research Center.

Addressing concerns about foreign influence, Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, stated, "Congress is not acting to punish ByteDance, TikTok, or any other individual company. Congress is acting to prevent foreign adversaries from conducting espionage, surveillance, maligned operations, harming vulnerable Americans, our servicemen and women, and our U.S. government personnel."

Following the signing of the bill, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew reassured users in a video message, expressing confidence in overcoming the legal challenges and advising that users should not expect any disruption to the app's services.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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