US TikTok Ban Edges Closer After House Passes Crucial Bill

TikTok - which adds $24bn to the US economy annually - says the bill threatens the free speech of 170 million of Americans.

The US has taken a huge step towards banning TikTok after an updated version of a divest-and-ban bill that would force ByteDance to sell the social media platform received cross-party support in the House of Representatives.

The bill is included in a broader $95 billion legislative package that include security assistance and aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Although it still has to pass through the Senate, President Joe Biden has already indicated he would sign such legislation if it makes it to the Oval Office.

US Takes First Big Step to Total TikTok Ban

The US House of Representatives has voted on a legislative package that includes a bill that will force TikTok owner ByteDance to sell up or face a ban. It passed through the first chamber of Congress by 360 – 58.

The bill will be voted on in the Senate next week if everything goes as planned, and there’s no real indication right now that it will face any significant opposition inside the chamber. Then, it’s over to Joe Biden to sign it into law – something the president has already said he intends to do.

Surfshark logo🔎 Want to browse the web privately? 🌎 Or appear as if you're in another country?
Get a huge 86% off Surfshark with this special offer.See deal button

Why Does the US Government Want to Ban TikTok?

Washington has long been concerned about the TikTok’s alleged relationship with the Chinese government. Beijing has been strengthening its grip on private business in the country for some time now, and the US is worried that ByteDance has been compromised as a result. Some US states, such as Montana, have already approved bans, while countries like Canada have banned the app among government officials.

Concerns in the West range from the way the app could be wielded to disseminate Chinese propaganda and censor dissent to the ease at which the Chinese government could access data connected to the app’s droves of US-based users.

TikTok has always strongly denied all of the allegations relating to a purported connection to the Chinese government. Singaporean CEO So Zi Chew had his feet held over the fire by Congress back in March of last year, where he insisted under oath that the company was entirely independent.

After the bill passed this week, the company said in a post on X that a ban “would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the U.S. economy, annually.”

What Will TikTok Do if the Bill Is Signed Into Law?

If the bill becomes law in its present form, it will force parent company ByteDance to sell TikTok within nine months of the ruling. However, this period could be extended to help parent company ByteDance get a deal over the line.

The allotted period is slightly longer than the original version of the bill which provided the company with just six months to sell.

However, TikTok has already said it will fight any such legislation head-on. The likelihood that delays will occur due to appeals from TikTok is high. But regardless of the final timeline, a total ban seems closer than ever.

Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at

Written by:
Aaron Drapkin is a Lead Writer at He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol five years ago. As a writer, Aaron takes a special interest in VPNs, cybersecurity, and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, Cybernews, and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, ProPrivacy, The Week, and covering a wide range of topics.
Explore More See all news
Back to top
close Building a Website? We've tested and rated Wix as the best website builder you can choose – try it yourself for free Try Wix today