in ,

TikTok On The Verge Of Shut Down In The U.S. Amid Ongoing Feud With Congress

Source: Biography

The saga between ByteDance – the Chinese company that owns TikTok – and the United States doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon (if at all). The company isn’t giving in to Biden’s demands and is even willing to end its operations in the US. Here’s what TikTok users need to know!

ByteDance Takes Firm Stance Against US

In a new report by Reuters, ByteDance is leaning towards shutting down the app in the US rather than selling the platform to an American company. The outlet claimed to have four sources, but chose not to name those sources.

Source: Flickr/Anthony Quintano

Bytedance declined to comment, but the report falls in line with the firm stance they’ve taken against the United States ever since they started facing the threat of a ban several years ago. Now, TikTok is attempting to take control of the narrative.

Wants To Protect Its Most Valuable Asset

So, why is ByteDance refusing to sell? According to Reuters sources, it all boils down to the algorithms TikTok uses to increase addictiveness and screen time. Those algorithms are reportedly deemed core to the company’s overall operations.

Source: Flickr/Focal Foto

The report read: “A shutdown would have limited impact on ByteDance’s business while the company would not have to give up its core algorithm, said the sources, who declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media.”

Still No Plans Of Selling, Despite Reports

ByteDance recently clarified its stance following a report by The Information that claimed the company was considering selling TikTok to US company, while retaining its algorithm. According to ByteDance, that report was untrue.

Source: Flickr/Aksaule Alzhan

The company released a statement through Toutiao, a media platform it owns, clarifying its plans to fight the US ban in court and confirming it’s not currently engaged in talks with anyone to sell the company.

Why Does The US Want TikTok To Sell?

The United States has several issues with TikTok, including addictiveness, misinformation, children’s safety, mental health, selling data, and data security. These problems were brought to light during a Congress hearing last year.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Perhaps most concerning is the fear that China is using TikTok to spy in the US. “Today, the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party’s] laws require Chinese companies like ByteDance to spy on their behalf,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said during the hearing.

March 13: House Passes H.R. 7521

On March 13, the House of Representatives made its first attempt at ridding TikTok of its Chinese influences by passing H.R. 7521. The bill would’ve forced TikTok to sever its ties with ByteDance or face a nationwide ban. The bill was never voted on by the Senate.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“The clear and simple truth is that TikTok is toxic.TikTok has shown time and time again that they are a risk to both the national security of the United States, and to the minds of our children. It’s digital fentanyl for our kids,” said Rep. John James (MI-10) – who voted yes.

April 20: House Passes H.R. 815

On April 20, the House made its second attempt at banning TikTok by passing H.R. 815, a foreign aid package that included provisions requiring the company to sell within nine months or face a nationwide ban. It passed the House with a 360-58 vote.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Senate followed suit three days later, passing the same bill with a 79-18 vote – proving to have bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. The bill was then sent to President Joe Biden’s desk – all he had to do was sign it.

April 24: Biden Signs Legislation Into Law

It took Biden one day to make that happen. Biden addressed the nation following the signing of the bill, but spent the entire speech talking about the foreign aid being sent to Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

“It’s an investment in our own security because when our allies are stronger – and I want to make this clear again and again – when our allies are stronger, we are stronger,” Biden said.

Republican Lawmakers Tell Biden To Get Off TikTok

As ironic as it sounds, Biden has embraced TikTok as a powerful tool during his 2024 campaign. His account (@bidenhq) has 312,000 followers and he posts several times per day. His first post was in February 2024 – a Super Bowl post.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

“Your presidential campaign defiantly continues to use TikTok, ignoring the serious concerns your own administration’s officials have raised,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) in a letter addressed to the President.

Deadline Hits January 24, 2025

Under the new law, TikTok has nine months to sell its American operations if it wants to avoid a ban in the US. Those nine months began on April 24, when the bill was signed, and would come to a close on January 24, 2025.

Source; Wikimedia/Solen Feyissa

That’s when a potential ban would take effect, but Biden does have the power to extend the grace period another three months if TikTok is actively engaged in serious talks to sell the company per the US’s demands.

Donald Trump Switching His Stance

Talks of banning TikTok actually started in 2020. In fact, it was Donald Trump who signed several executive orders demanding the company cut ties with ByteDance before facing a ban. Now that Biden is on that train, Trump has exited.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

“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 – denouncing the potential ban on TikTok.

TikTok CEO Calls Law Unconstitutional

Another person who disagrees with the ban? TikTok CEO Shou Chew – who hasn’t wavered in his promise to continue fighting in court to maintain TikTok’s integrity and algorithms.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court. We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail,” the company wrote in a statement published on its website.

How Popular Is TikTok In America?

According to the company, a ban on TikTok in the US would ‘devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans’ – all of whom use TikTok for a variety of reasons (some for business, some for pleasure) every single day.

Source: Wikimedia/Jernej Furman

In fact, a study by the Pew Research Center found that 56% of all U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 say they use the platform. A report by Exploding Topics added that users spend nearly an hour on TikTok daily – amounting to roughly 24 hours of screen time per month.

What do you think?

147 Points
Upvote Downvote
Ryan Handson

Written by Ryan Handson

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Heartfelt Surprise: Mysterious Wooden Addition on Utility Pole

Spacecraft Sends Laser Message to Earth From 140 Million Miles Away