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TikTok ban passes Congress: Lawmakers give ByteDance an option to sell the app

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  • Staff Report 

TikTok’s Fate in the U.S. Hangs on Potential Sale, Lawmakers Say

A Glimpse of Hope for TikTok Fans

U.S. lawmakers have introduced a twist in the ongoing saga surrounding TikTok’s potential ban in the United States. The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill suggesting TikTok could avoid a ban if its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, parts ways with the popular social media platform. This move has sparked a complex debate about who could feasibly acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations and under what conditions.

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The Challenge of Finding a New Owner

Despite interest from notable figures like Kevin O’Leary, acquiring TikTok is fraught with challenges, not least because of the tight 6-month deadline proposed. Experts argue that even if a financially capable buyer steps forward, the process of negotiating such a significant acquisition is far from straightforward. Big tech companies could theoretically afford the purchase but would face intense scrutiny from antitrust regulators, adding another layer of complexity.


Navigating a Potential Sale of TikTok

The bill, which now heads to the Senate, proposes an exception to the TikTok ban in the case of a “qualified divestiture.” This would require a determination that TikTok is no longer under the control of a “foreign adversary,” and the U.S.-based version of TikTok must sever all operational and data-sharing ties with ByteDance. This provision stems from concerns over Chinese national security laws and the potential for data misuse.

Historical Precedents and Future Prospects for TikTok

This isn’t the first time TikTok’s ownership has been under scrutiny. A similar situation arose in 2020 when the Trump administration attempted to broker a deal involving Oracle and Walmart. However, the deal fell through due to various hurdles, including legal challenges and changes in Chinese export controls.

As the conversation around TikTok’s future in the U.S. continues, the bill represents a critical juncture. It not only highlights the geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China but also underscores the intricate balance between national security concerns and maintaining a free and open digital marketplace.



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