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Is the Future of TikTok at Risk with the US Law Seeking Its Sale or Ban?

Updated: May 14

TikTok at Risk

Key Points

  1. TikTok Fights Back: TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, are suing the US government over a law signed by President Biden. This law wants TikTok sold or banned.

  2. Legal Clash: TikTok says this law goes against the US Constitution's free speech rules. They argue it's impossible to follow and would shut down TikTok, affecting millions of users.

  3. Security Concerns: The law comes from worries that China might misuse data from TikTok. While the White House wants Chinese ownership to end for security, TikTok denies these claims.

TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have taken legal action against the United States government. They filed a lawsuit in a federal court to block a law signed by President Joe Biden. This law would either force TikTok's sale or ban the app, which is used by 170 million Americans.

The lawsuit argues that the law violates the US Constitution, particularly the First Amendment's free speech protections. It gives ByteDance until January 19 to sell TikTok or face a ban. According to the companies, complying with the law is not commercially, technologically, or legally feasible. They assert that the law would shut TikTok down by January 19, 2025, affecting millions of users.

The White House aims to end Chinese ownership of TikTok due to national security concerns but has not expressed support for a ban. The lawsuit is TikTok's latest effort to fend off attempts to shut it down in the US.

The law passed overwhelmingly in Congress amid concerns that China could access or spy on American data through the app. TikTok denies these allegations and accuses lawmakers of advancing speculative concerns.

Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, a top Democrat on a House committee on China, supports the law as a way to address national security threats posed by ByteDance's ownership of TikTok.

The law prohibits app stores like Apple and Google from offering TikTok and bars internet hosting services from supporting it unless ByteDance divests TikTok by January 19.

The lawsuit claims that the Chinese government opposes divestment of TikTok's recommendation engine, which is crucial to its success in the US. The companies seek to block the US Attorney General from enforcing the law.

Despite efforts to address concerns about user data, TikTok continues to face challenges in the US-China technology conflict. Courts blocked former President Trump's attempts to ban TikTok, and Biden has extended the deadline for TikTok's sale.

Experts question the feasibility of a TikTok sale and the approval process by both China and US government agencies. Moving TikTok's source code to the US, if required, could take years, according to the lawsuit.

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Q1. Can TikTok sue the US government?

Yes, TikTok can sue the US government, just like any other entity or individual can file a lawsuit against the government. In this case, TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, have taken legal action against the US government over a law signed by President Biden. They have filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the law, which seeks to force TikTok's sale or ban in the United States. This legal action is a way for TikTok to contest the law and argue that it violates certain rights or protections, such as those guaranteed by the US Constitution.

Q2. Where is TikTok banned?

TikTok has been banned in India. The ban was imposed by the Indian government in 2020 due to tensions with China. The government cited concerns over national security and data privacy as reasons for the ban. This decision led to TikTok being removed from app stores and made inaccessible to users in India.

Q3. What does TikTok think is wrong with the law?

TikTok believes the law breaks the rules of free speech in the US Constitution. They also say it's not possible to follow the law without shutting down TikTok, which would hurt many users.

Q4. What are the potential TikTok risk factors users should be aware of?

TikTok risks include data privacy concerns, security vulnerabilities, and exposure to inappropriate content. Users should exercise caution and stay informed about these potential dangers when using the platform.


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