House likely to pass a bill that could ban TikTok, sending it to the Senate

Trending 1 month ago

WASHINGTON — The House is poised to walk authorities Wednesday that could prohibition TikTok successful nan U.S. arsenic Republicans and Democrats alike sound nan siren that nan celebrated video-sharing app is simply a nationalist information threat.

TikTok, owned by China-based genitor institution ByteDance, is mounting an aggressive lobbying campaign to termination nan legislation, arguing that it would break nan First Amendment authorities of its 170 cardinal U.S. users and harm thousands of mini businesses that trust connected it.

"You will beryllium destroying mini businesses for illustration us; this is our livelihood. We’ve created success," Paul Tran, who, pinch his wife, has a tegument attraction institution called Love and Pebble, said astatine a pro-TikTok rally extracurricular nan Capitol connected Tuesday.

He said their business astir unopen down past twelvemonth until TikTok Shop came on and "totally exploded our business." Now 90% of their business comes from nan app, he said.

"If you walk this bill," Tran said, "you will beryllium destroying nan American Dream that we really judge in."

Despite that push, nan bipartisan measure is expected to sail done nan House and beryllium sent to nan Senate, wherever lawmakers opportunity they are still evaluating it. President Joe Biden has said that if nan measure reaches his desk, he will motion it into law.

Its backers opportunity it’s incorrect to telephone nan authorities an outright ban. Dubbed nan Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, nan measure would create a process for nan president — done nan FBI and intelligence agencies — to designate definite societal media applications nether nan power of overseas adversaries, for illustration China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, arsenic nationalist information threats.

Once an app was deemed a risk, it would beryllium banned from online app stores and web-hosting services unless it severed ties pinch entities nether power of nan overseas adversary wrong 180 days of nan designation. That intends TikTok, which FBI Director Christopher Wray has testified poses a consequence to nationalist security, could look a prohibition unless ByteDance acted quickly to divest it.

“What we’re aft is simply a separation from TikTok from its genitor company, ByteDance, and by hold CCP,” nan bill’s author, Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., president of nan prime committee investigating nan Chinese Communist Party, said Tuesday arsenic he near a classified all-House briefing astir nan dangers of TikTok. “And successful that world, TikTok users tin proceed to usage nan platform. In fact, I deliberation it would let for a amended personification experience.”

U.S. lawmakers and intelligence officials interest nan Chinese authorities could usage TikTok to entree individual information from its millions of users and usage algorithms to show them videos that could power their views, including successful nan coming statesmanlike election. Testifying earlier Congress a twelvemonth ago, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew denied that nan Chinese authorities controls nan app and pushed backmost against suggestions that China accesses U.S. personification data.

In penning nan bill, Gallagher teamed up pinch nan apical Democrat connected nan China panel, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, who consulted pinch erstwhile Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., an outspoken professional of China's quality authorities violations passim her agelong career.

“My interest is astir what TikTok has done successful Taiwan, saying that nan Uyghurs emotion their genocide and nan group of Hong Kong emotion their elector suppression,” Pelosi told reporters.

But she added: "We want TikTok to exist; we’re not present to prohibition it. I’ve said we want to make it Tik-Tok-Toe. We want to make it thing that is not a fearful societal media level but 1 that is very positive. And successful bid to do that, we person to spot nan divesting of it from nan Chinese authorities having custodial possession of nan data. ... Who controls nan algorithm controls each of it. ... It is simply a nationalist information issue. And it’s a individual information issue.”

The multibillion-dollar societal media behemoth's beingness was everyplace connected Capitol Hill up of nan House vote. TikTok users sewage pop-ups connected nan app urging them to telephone their section representatives, arsenic good arsenic push notifications saying: "Help extremity nan TikTok shutdown."

Outside nan Capitol, a fistful of young House Democrats — Robert Garcia and Sarah Jacobs of California, Maxwell Frost of Florida and Delia Ramirez of Illinois — rallied alongside TikTok creators to definitive their guidance to nan bill.

Frost, 27, called himself a “hell no” connected nan measure and predicted that if nan ballot had been delayed by a week, guidance would person grown.

JT Laybourne, 1 of nan creators, said he is “disgusted” to perceive lawmakers mocking TikTok and nan creators connected it because millions of mini businesses trust connected it.

“My sound is connected TikTok. My intent is connected TikTok. That’s it. We can’t fto this happen,” Laybourne pleaded.

Scott Wong

Scott Wong is simply a elder legislature newsman for NBC News.

Kyle Stewart

Kyle Stewart is an subordinate shaper covering Congress for NBC News.

Rebecca Kaplan

Rebecca is simply a shaper and off-air newsman covering Congress for NBC News, managing sum of nan House.

Kate Santaliz

,

Brennan Leach

and

Frank Thorp V

contributed

.