TikTok Vows Legal Battle Against US Ban or Forced Sale Amid Legislative Push

TikTok has vowed to challenge any ban or forced sale of its US operations in court following the passage of legislation by the House of Representatives targeting the viral video platform.

The bill, part of a broader foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, passed in the House with a vote of 360 to 58, heightening uncertainty about TikTok’s future in the US. Under the legislation, ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, is required to divest its stake in the American business or face a ban.

In response, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman, informed staff in a memo that the company would contest the bill in court, asserting its unconstitutionality. Beckerman cited violations of the first amendment protecting freedom of speech and pledged to fight for the rights of TikTok’s 170 million American users.

This legal strategy mirrors a previous successful challenge against a state ban on TikTok. Last year, a district judge in Montana ruled that the state’s ban infringed on the free speech rights of users, highlighting the potential strength of TikTok’s legal argument.

TikTok continues to face scrutiny from US lawmakers and officials in Western countries over concerns about data privacy and the potential for Chinese government access to user data. Despite TikTok’s denials, critics argue that ByteDance could be compelled to share data with Chinese security services under Chinese security laws.

The platform’s commitment to legal action underscores the escalating tensions between TikTok and US authorities, with the outcome of the legislative push likely to have significant implications for the platform’s future operations in the country.

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