TikTok has 270 days left to leave the US

Since President Joe Biden signed new legislation related to the national security of the United States on the morning of April 24, the Chinese company ByteDance has 270 days to sell TikTok. If you do not meet this requirement, 19 , January That popular social video network, There are 170 million registered users in the countryWould be banned in the US If the company requests an extension, it could have another 90 days, meaning a final veto could fall, if Biden personally authorizes it, in about a year.

For practical purposes, this means that the application Will disappear from App Store of Android and iPhone in the United States. Both are controlled by North American companies, Google and Apple respectively, and will face fines if they do not comply with the government’s decision. This way, phone users will not be able to access updates and the application will gradually become outdated. In no case will it automatically disappear from phones where it is already installed.

The legislation — passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday, supported by the Senate on Tuesday and signed into law by Biden just a day later — is specifically designed to prevent personal data of American users from being transferred to adversary countries like China. Has gone. In particular, the legal text defines “Applications controlled by foreign adversaries” Such as those operated directly or indirectly by companies linked to the regimes of North Korea, China, Russia and Iran. The law also defines what is sensitive data. These include precise geographical location, private communications and financial information.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has announced that it will take this decision to court, which suggests long legal battle, The only option the US gives him is to sell the social network to another entity that the President believes poses no security threat, and in a way that has no ties to China. “It is regrettable that the legislature is once again using the pretext of foreign and humanitarian aid to advance a prohibition bill that would crush the free speech rights of 170 million Americans,” the company said in a statement.

Indeed, delegates combined a series of votes last Saturday, April 20, and this veto was approved along with aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, among other foreign policy issues. Including humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip, ByteDance has alleged in its report that TikTok is a business tool for seven million American companies and entrepreneurs, who earn $24 billion annually from advertising.

This law targeting TikTok has received bipartisan support. Most Republicans and Democrats have united in believing that he is a threat to US national security. The votes reflect this: 360 favorable votes out of 435 in the House of Representatives and 79 favorable votes out of 100 in the Senate.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of the biggest defenders of this veto, explains his motivations this way: “For years, We have allowed the Chinese Communist Party to control an application Most popular in America. “This is a dangerous lack of preparedness, but fortunately we are becoming increasingly aware of the threat that Chinese-controlled companies pose to America. We must act more quickly when we face similar threats in the future.” “We must take action because China will not accept defeat.”

The White House, for its part, prefers to talk not about prohibition, but about disinvestment. Presidential spokesperson, Karin Jean-Pierre, assures: «We must be very clear, this is not a prohibition; This is a disinvestment. “This will ensure that these apps are not owned by those who can exploit them and harm us.”

However, this bipartisan consensus does not mean unanimity. Many representatives and senators, on the right and the left, along the libertarian line have condemned the veto and warned that China can respond in various waysBehind closed doors, while increasing restrictions on applications and operating systems in the US, the communist dictatorship already imposes restrictions and all types of censorship on its users, and always favors the use of programs that are designed in China And whose servers remain there. ,

Rand Paul, R-Ky., charged in the Senate on Tuesday that the bill would “violate the First Amendment rights” of TikTok users and “give the government the power to force the sale of other companies.” The First Amendment to the Constitution regulates freedom of speech in the United States.

If China continues to have control over TikTok, this is not the first attempt to ban it. Donald Trump already raised it in 2019, but his party then decided not to invoke the veto. The first law in this regard, which gave shorter deadlines, was approved in January and blocked in the Senate.

China has opposed the sale of TikTok, and in any case it will be necessary to find a buyer willing to pay billions for the cost of the application.

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