Possible TikTok ban in the US: House vote explained

The House passed a series of foreign policy legislations in a rare Saturday session, including a bill that takes a step towards the possible ban of TikTok in the United States.

The bill requires the social media platform’s China-based owner, ByteDance Ltc., to sell its stake within one year or face a ban in the U.S.

So, don’t expect the app to go away anytime soon.

First, the bill needs final approval. It’s headed now for approval in the Senate, which could happen as soon as next week. 

And once that passes, as it's expected to, the company has up to a year to find a buyer for the sale. 

The company will also likely try to challenge the law in court, arguing it would deprive the app’s millions of users of their First Amendment rights. 

Court challenges could significantly delay the timeline set out by Congress or block the law from going into effect.

Why is the US trying to ban TikTok?


FILE - This photograph taken on April 19, 2024 shows a man holding a smartphone displaying the logo of Chinese social media platform Tiktok. Photo by Antonin Utz/AFP via Getty Images)

TikTok has about 170 million U.S. users, many of whom are young. Lawmakers’ push to ban it reflects the widespread concern they have about China. 

Members of both parties, along with intelligence officials, have worried that Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over American user data or direct the company to suppress or boost TikTok content favorable to its interests. 

TikTok has denied assertions that it could be used as a tool of the Chinese government and has said it has not shared U.S. user data with Chinese authorities.

Since mid-March, TikTok has spent $5 million on TV ads opposing the legislation, according to AdImpact, an advertising tracking firm.

The U.S. government has not publicly provided evidence that shows TikTok shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government or tinkered with the company’s popular algorithm, which influences what Americans see.

What else did the House vote on Saturday?

The House voted Saturday to also send foreign aid totaling $95 billion to Ukraine, Israel and other allies. 

Those three bills, plus the one involving TikTok, are now being rolled into one package that will be presented to the Senate, where passage in the coming days is nearly assured. President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately.

RELATED: House approves $95 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel, other allies

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.