Joe Biden signs bill to ban TikTok in US unless it is sold. What's next, then - Hindustan Times
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Joe Biden signs bill to ban TikTok in US unless it is sold. What's next, then

Apr 25, 2024 08:11 AM IST

Joe Biden signs law to ban Chinese-owned TikTok unless sold to US company, allocates aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden has signed into law measures that would ban Chinese-owned TikTok unless it is sold to any US company within a year.

US President Joe Biden speaks after signing the foreign aid bill at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2024. The $95 billion package of assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan also provides needed humanitarian assistance to Gaza, Sudan and Haiti, and a measure to ban TikTok in the US. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)(AFP)
US President Joe Biden speaks after signing the foreign aid bill at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2024. The $95 billion package of assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan also provides needed humanitarian assistance to Gaza, Sudan and Haiti, and a measure to ban TikTok in the US. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)(AFP)

The law is mainly aimed at providing aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

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This ends a six-month saga of political battles on Capitol Hill.

“The path to my desk was difficult. It should have been easier and it should’ve gotten there sooner...But in the end, we did what America always does, we rose to the moment,” Biden acknowledged the challenges.

What's next for TikTok

Biden has just signed the legislation bill into law after the responses from two branches of the country, the House and the Senate. The Senate adopted the plan in its bi-partisan 79–18 vote on Monday, following the House's approval on Saturday.

ALSO READ| TikTok uses ‘free speech’ card to save itself from US ban, will it be enough?

Plus, it imposes a requirement on ByteDance to sell TikTok within nine months, with a potential year extension if Biden invoked, or else face a nationwide ban in the U.S.

TikTok wants to challenge the ban ‘in court’

TikTok has responded in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), “This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court...This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew echoed this sentiment in a video response, lamenting the bill as a “disappointing moment” and promising to contest it.

Chew hailed, “Rest assured, we aren't going anywhere,” and added, “The facts and the Constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail again.”

“Congress is not acting to punish ByteDance, TikTok, or any other individual company,” Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell clarified. “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.”

ALSO READ| Biden signs a $95 billion war aid measure with assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

The bill faced several pushbacks from House Speaker Mike Johnson from hardline Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

However, Johnson ultimately decided to end the House’s foreign aid stalemate, citing bipartisan pressure following Iran’s attempted strike on Israel in April.

Johnson defended his decision, stating, “I know that history is going to judge this well...It was the right thing to do.”

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