Breaking: House Passes Bill to Force TikTok’s Chinese Parent Company to Sell Platform or Face U.S. Ban

A bipartisan coalition of House members voted Wednesday to pass a bill that would effectively force the Chinese parent company of TikTok to sell the video-sharing platform or face a ban in U.S. app stores.

The bill passed 325 to 65, with 15 Republicans and 50 Democrats voting against it. The TikTok legislation is now headed to the Senate, where it will face a more difficult path. President Joe Biden said he would sign the bill should it reach his desk.

Both Republicans and Democrats have been concerned about China’s ability to surveil American users of the social-media app, but former president Donald Trump has been lobbying against the TikTok legislation in recent days, marking a reversal of his previous position on the national-security risk posed by the app.

The former president’s change of heart came soon after meeting with billionaire investor Jeff Yass, who holds a 15 percent stake in ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok. Yass is also a Republican megadonor who has donated over $60 million to Club for Growth, a Trump-associated conservative super PAC pushing back against the ban.

Trump first spoke out against a potential TikTok ban on Truth Social last week, claiming the legislation would only empower Facebook to take TikTok’s place. He echoed these comments in a Monday interview with CNBC, calling Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook an “enemy of the people.”

“There’s a lot of good and there’s a lot of bad with TikTok, but the thing I don’t like is that without TikTok, you’re going to make Facebook bigger, and I consider Facebook to be an enemy of the people, along with a lot of the media,” Trump said. In the interview, he denied speaking with Yass about TikTok.

TikTok itself has also been lobbying against the legislation after the company was blindsided by the bipartisan support for such a ban.

“This process was intentionally conducted in secret because the bill authors knew it was the only way they could move it forward,” a TikTok spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal.

The bill is expected to face stiff opposition in the Senate, as prominent Republicans such as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have expressed opposition to the measure.

The bill says that TikTok must be sold within six months to a buyer that the federal government approves so that ByteDance no longer has any control over the app. Kevin O’Leary, known for his television appearance on Shark Tank, offered to purchase TikTok to satisfy that requirement earlier this week.

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House Passes Bill to Force TikTok’s Chinese Parent Company to Sell Platform or Face U.S. Ban

The legislation is expected to face a more difficult path in the ... READ MORE

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