House votes on bill that could see TikTok banned in the US

WASHINGTON — The House is poised to pass legislation Wednesday that could ban TikTok in the U.S. as Republicans and Democrats alike sound the alarm that the popular video-sharing app is a national security threat.

TikTok, owned by China-based parent company ByteDance, is mounting an aggressive lobbying campaign to kill the legislation, arguing that it would violate the First Amendment rights of its 170 million U.S. users and harm thousands of small businesses that rely on it.

Despite that push, the bipartisan bill is expected to sail through the House and be sent to the Senate, where lawmakers say they are still evaluating it. President Joe Biden has said that if the bill reaches his desk, he will sign it into law.

U.S. lawmakers and intelligence officials worry the Chinese government could use TikTok to access personal data from its millions of users and use algorithms to show them videos that could influence their views, including in the coming presidential election. Testifying before Congress a year ago, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew denied that the Chinese government controls the app and pushed back against suggestions that China accesses U.S. user data.

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