TikTok on the verge of disappearing in the US: House approves a new “ban” of the application integrated into the aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan

ByteDance, its Chinese parent company, is now forced to sell the app or face permanent exclusion in the country.

Today was a busy day in the House of Representatives. Within the $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, Democrats and Republicans teamed up to pass legislation banning TikTok in the United States unless the app’s company finds an American buyer.

This is an unexpected and sudden move that went unnoticed due to all the debate surrounding the approved military aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. It is also confusing legislation because last month, the Lower House passed a bill on to the Senate, similar to the one approved today, that would ban TikTok if ByteDance refuses to sell.

However, the majority leader of the Upper House, Democrat Chuck Schumer, has refused to put the measure to a vote until now, promising that he would eventually address the issue.

However, representatives critical of TikTok from both sides of the aisle are now taking advantage of the agreement on the aid packages to pass this legislation by a large majority (360 votes to 58), which would force the Senate to vote in favor of banning the application in China.

For the legislation to become law, President Joe Biden must sign it. He already promised to sign the ban if it reached his desk.

“The forced sale of TikTok represents a bipartisan breakthrough against the CCP’s powerful tool of information warfare against the United States,” Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) told the New York Post. “No longer will Congress stand by idly while the CCP freely weaponizes TikTok to corrupt the minds of young Americans, radicalize Americans against their own country, and amplify antisemitism on a scale and at a pace not seen in human history.”

The vote represents the latest defeat for TikTok in Washington. According to the version of the bill approved this Saturday, if President Biden signs the law, it will have 270 days to find a new owner.

This represents at least a slight glimmer of hope for TikTok users since the previous bill stipulated that ByteDance had only six months to find a new owner.

The current bill also gives the White House an option to extend the nine-month deadline for another 90 days if the president determines there is progress toward a sale.

Although no official interest has been confirmed, several companies, including Microsoft, Meta, Apple, Oracle, and Rumble, a freedom-of-expression-oriented YouTube competitor, are linked to a potential purchase of TikTok.

The TikTok ban raises concerns for many of the 150 million Americans who use the platform, especially those who generate income or are financially dependent on their activity on the app.