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House Passes Bill That Forces Chinese Parent Company To Sell TikTok

Photo by Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

By Mary Lou Masters, The Daily Caller News Foundation | March 13, 2024

The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday that would force Chinese company ByteDance to sell TikTok in order for the social media app to be allowed to operate in the U.S.

The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act advanced from the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a unanimous vote on March 7. The legislation, which would allow the Beijing-based company roughly five months to sell TikTok, passed with a bipartisan 352 to 65  floor vote, sending the bill to the Senate.

President Joe Biden has signaled he would sign the legislation if it clears the upper chamber. Critics of the social media app warn of the potential national security threats of its association with the Chinese Communist Party and what they view to be harmful effects on American youth. Others argue that banning the social media app is a violation of First Amendment rights and free enterprise.

TikTok has been critical of the legislation, which it called “an outright ban” in an X statement on March 5. The social media app encouraged its children and teenaged users to call congressional offices and complain about the bill.

“This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs,” TikTok wrote.

Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, appeared to voice opposition to the legislation despite previously attempting to ban the app. Trump’s 2020 ban faced legal challenges, and was eventually repealed by the Biden administration in 2021.

“If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”

Wealthy businessman Kevin O’Leary has expressed interest in purchasing the app if the legislation goes into effect. “It’s not going to get banned because I’m going to buy it,” the Shark Tank co-star told Fox News on Friday. “Somebody’s going to buy it. It won’t be Meta and it won’t be Google because a regulator will stop that. A syndicate will be formed. I would like to be involved, obviously.”

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