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US House will vote on TikTok ban; fate unknown in Senate

Congressman Robert Garcia (D-CA) speaks as he is joined by fellow House members Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL), Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) and Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL) and TikTok creators during a press conference to voice their opposition to the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled... Purchase Licensing Rights

WASHINGTON, March 12 (mod1s) - The U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on a measure on Wednesday that would give TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance about six months to sell the short-video app used by around 170 million Americans or risk a ban.
 
The vote is likely around 10 a.m. under fast-track procedures that need backing by two-thirds of House members for the legislation to succeed.
 
The decision comes barely over a week after the law was drafted and after one public hearing with minimal discussion. The House Energy and Commerce Committee last week voted 50-0 in support of the measure, setting it up for a vote before the entire House.

The FBI, Justice Department and Office of the director of national intelligence conducted a secret briefing, opens new tab for House members on Tuesday.
 
"We’ve addressed a number of inquiries from members. We got a secret briefing today. So that members may see even more specifics about what’s at risk and how the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) might endanger the risk to American families," said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.

Tiktok CEO Shou Zi Chew will visit Capitol Hill on Wednesday on a previously arranged trip to meet to senators, a person knowledgeable on the subject said.
 
"This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States," the firm claimed. "The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression," it continued.

Some opponents of the measure, like Democratic Representative Maxwell Frost, predict the bill will pass in the House. Frost said many politicians who would vote for the measure are motivated by a desire to safeguard users, which he supports. Frost was among four MPs out of the 432-member House who attended a news conference criticizing the measure.
 
"The problem is the process here, the fact that it's been steamrolled and people really can't digest the consequences," Frost added. "I would like to see TikTok ownership changed, but not at the expense of our First Amendment rights, business owners and content creators."
 
The fate of the proposal is unknown in the U.S. Senate, where some senators want to take a different path.
 
President Joe Biden announced last week that he would sign the law.
 
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday that the aim is reducing Chinese control - not outlawing TikTok. "Do we want TikTok, as a platform, to be owned by an American corporation or owned by China? Do we want the data from TikTok -- children's data, adults’ data -- to be moving, to be remaining here in America or going to China?"
 
It is unknown whether China would accept any transaction or if TikTok could be unloaded in six months
 
The law would allow ByteDance 165 days to divest TikTok. If it failed to do so, app stores controlled by Apple (AAPL.O), opens new tab, Alphabet's (GOOGL.O), opens new tab Google and others could not lawfully provide TikTok or give web hosting services to ByteDance-controlled apps.
 
In 2020, then-President Donald Trump wanted to ban TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat but was denied by the courts. In recent days he has voiced worries about a ban.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/

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