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Everything We Know About the Pending Nationwide TikTok Ban

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The fate of the short-form video app is in the hands of Congress, and Boardroom has all the details on the pending legislation.

TikTok’s emergence amongst America’s social media landscape in 2020 seemed to appease the most insatiable appetites for niche-personalized content. It quickly became a mainstay alongside the nation’s favorite apps as the most downloaded platform in 2022. Yet, with a spate of concerns surrounding its threats to national security, the future of TikTok is now unclear. 

On March 1, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to grant President Biden the authority to ban the short-form video app, owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance. Despite opposition from Democrats, the advancement of the bill was largely propelled by the fear of the app’s potential security risk. 

“Anyone with TikTok downloaded on their device has given the CCP (Communist Party of China) a backdoor to all their personal information,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), one of the bill’s sponsors. 

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While the specifics of how the ban can be imposed is still hazy, Biden’s power to ban any access and downloads of the app is apparent. The legislation would allow for the President to impose sanctions on transactions connected to software that could be controlled by Chinese intelligence. TikTok and any of its connected services would have to meet rigorous criteria to be waived from imposed sanctions. 

Democrats in staunch opposition of the bill say its haste approval in the committee did not allow for expert vetting and consultation. The bill’s viability is now entering contentious territory with a divided U.S. House and Senate. It must pass both before it lands on President Biden’s desk. The Biden administration has yet to announce official support for the bill’s trajectory. 

With over 100 million American users, the Chinese-owned platform has long been eyed for its seeming threat to national security. In 2020, The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) unanimously requested TikTok to sever ties with ByteDance as its proximity with the Chinese government could compromise user data. TikTok has claimed that it has spent over $1.5 billion dollars in a fervent effort to adjust to the CFIUS’ suggestions for data security measures.

This week, the White House mandated all government agencies to ensure the removal of TikTok on any federal devices and systems within 30 days. There has been no substantial evidence as of late that the Chinese government has requested America user data from ByteDance or influenced the app’s vaunted “for you page.”


About The Author
Mia Diamond Uzzell is a culture documentarian with an insatiable love for politics and history. Before joining the entertainment team, her work has been featured in Glamour, Teen Vogue, Essence and more.