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President Biden signs law to ban TikTok nationwide unless it is sold

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the U.S. government's move to ban the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok nationwide unless it is sold within a year. This is seen as the most serious threat yet to TikTok's future in the U.S., intensifying the tech war between the U.S. and China.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] President Biden signs law to ban TikTok nationwide unless it is sold

1. What are the key details of the law signed by President Biden?

  • The law stipulates that ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant that owns TikTok, must sell its stake in TikTok within 12 months, under the threat of the app being shut down.
  • The law would make it illegal for web-hosting services to support TikTok, and force Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app stores, effectively banning the app.
  • This is the first time the U.S. has passed a law that could trigger the ban of a social media platform, which has been condemned by civil liberties groups and constitutional scholars.

2. What are the reactions to the law?

  • TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said the company is confident it will win in court, and that users should not expect issues with the app in the meantime.
  • Civil liberties groups and constitutional scholars have condemned the law as unconstitutional and a blow to free expression in the U.S.
  • Some lawmakers, like Senator Edward Markey, have pushed back, arguing there is no credible evidence that TikTok poses a real national security threat, and that concerns should be addressed with comprehensive legislation for the entire tech industry.

3. What are the challenges in selling TikTok?

  • Any company or set of investors looking to purchase TikTok would need to receive the blessing of the Chinese government, which has strongly resisted a forced sale.
  • The Chinese government has placed content-recommendation algorithms, which are the core of TikTok's technology, on an export-control list, giving them additional say over how the technology is sold.

4. How did the law catch TikTok by surprise?

  • The law was passed rapidly, catching many inside TikTok off guard, as the company had just breathed a sigh of relief after a previous House bill to compel TikTok to find a buyer stalled in the Senate.
  • The new law mirrors the previous attempt, but extends the sell-by deadline, giving TikTok nine months to find a buyer, with a possible three-month extension.
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