Biden Expresses Willingness to Approve TikTok Crackdown as Trump Raises Apprehensions

The 8th of March, Washington, DC (Reuters) - In response to worries made by his adversary Donald Trump regarding the possibility of a ban on the service that is utilized by 170 million Americans, Vice President Joe Biden announced on Friday that he would sign legislation that would enable China's ByteDance approximately six months to divest the popular TikTok short video app.

After receiving unanimous approval from a committee on Thursday, the TikTok crackdown bill is scheduled to be put to a vote by the United States House of Representatives on either Tuesday or Wednesday of the following working week. For the proposal to be approved, the House of Representatives will vote on it in accordance with regulations that need a "yes" vote from two-thirds of the members.

"If they pass it, I'll sign it," Biden, who is a Democrat, said to the press. As a result of the fact that several senators have expressed their desire for amendments to the legislation, the outcome of the bill in the Senate is uncertain.

In a statement posted on social media, Republican Donald Trump, who is running for president in the upcoming election in November, voiced his opposition to the idea of banning TikTok. He stated, "If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook... will double their business," and he added that he does not want Facebook to "do better."

Trump has already voiced his disapproval to Meta Platforms (META.O), the parent company of Facebook, for banning his access to Facebook and Instagram following the removal of two of his posts that were made during the incident that occurred in the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. The reinstatement of his accounts took place in February of 2023.

In response to the question of whether or not Trump had an opinion on the proposal, the Trump team did not immediately reply. A comment from Meta Platforms was not forthcoming.

According to a document that was reviewed by Reuters, the Justice Department was quoted as saying to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that a divestment bill, as opposed to a measure that would ban TikTok, would place the government in a stronger legal position.

The proposed legislation on TikTok to be passed by the House of Representatives was supported by Mike Pence, who served as vice president under Trump. The minds of children in the United States are being tainted by China. On the social media platform X, which was once known as Twitter, he commented, "You have reached your limit."

If the bill were to become law, ByteDance would have 165 days to sell out TikTok. In the event that it was unable to do so, the app stores that are run by Apple (AAPL.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) will open a new tab. Legally speaking, Google and other companies were not allowed to offer TikTok or give web hosting services to applications that were controlled by ByteDance.

Trump attempted to ban TikTok and WeChat, which is controlled by China, in the year 2020, but the courts prevented him from doing so.

In response to Trump's remark, which stated that the former president assisted in addressing concerns about users of TikTok in the United States through a firm initiative that cost $1.5 billion, Republican Senator Rand Paul, who had previously rejected attempts to expedite the implementation of a plan to ban TikTok, opened a new tab.

"So why is the House GOP siding with Biden and still trying to ban Tik Tok?" In his writing on X, Paul used an abbreviation that stands for Republicans. In the event that Congress decides to prohibit TikTok, they will be following in the footsteps of the Chinese communists, who have also prohibited TikTok. What is the point of merely defending the first amendment?

In an executive order issued in August 2020, President Trump stated that the collection of data from TikTok "threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information." This could potentially allow China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for the purpose of blackmailing them, and engage in corporate espionage.

TikTok, which claims that it has not shared user data from the United States with the Chinese government and did not intend to do so, contends that the House bill is equivalent to a prohibition. It is not clear whether China would give its approval to any sale or whether TikTok could be sold off within the next six months.

"This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States," the business said after the vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee said that the legislation would be passed. "The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression."

During an election year, it may be challenging to have legislation adopted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate because to the popularity of the app. Recently, the re-election campaign of Vice President Joe Biden joined TikTok.

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