The TikTok Ban Becomes Law: What’s Next?

President Joe Biden has officially signed a bill into law that could potentially lead to the banning of TikTok in the United States. However, don’t expect the app to disappear immediately or even in the near future.

As with any legislative action, the situation is complex. The bill signed by Biden primarily focuses on providing foreign aid, allocating $60 billion to Ukraine to combat Russia’s invasion, along with $26 billion each to Israel and relief efforts in Gaza. Embedded within this bill is legislation that gives ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, a grace period of up to one year to divest its ownership from the app within the U.S.

In essence, it’s a directive to sell or face a ban.

So, what’s the next step? In short, expect a legal battle. Almost immediately after the bill was signed, TikTok indicated its intention to challenge the legislation in court.

“This is unequivocally a ban,” asserted TikTok CEO Shou Chew in a video posted on the platform. Chew vowed to contest the decision, emphasizing that there will be no immediate changes for TikTok users.

“Rest assured, we’re here to stay,” Chew reassured users. “We are resolute and will continue to defend your rights in the legal arena. The facts and the Constitution are on our side, and we anticipate a favorable outcome.”

Opponents of TikTok argue that, being owned by a Chinese entity, the app could potentially be compelled to surrender American users’ data to the Chinese government. This concern is amplified by the app’s massive user base of 170 million Americans. Similar arguments have led to bans or restrictions on TikTok in other countries.

TikTok has consistently denied allegations of sharing U.S. users’ data with the Chinese government.

The company has previously successfully defended against bans in court, notably in Montana last year.

“This law, which violates the Constitution, effectively bans TikTok, and we will contest it in court,” declared TikTok in a statement following the bill’s signing. “We are confident in our position, backed by both facts and law. The reality is, we’ve invested billions in safeguarding U.S. data and ensuring our platform remains free from external influence and manipulation.”

What’s on the horizon? If TikTok manages to secure a court ruling in its favor or a postponement of enforcement, the timeline for a ban would be extended. In essence, legal proceedings could prolong the process.

Even if the legislation stands, ByteDance has at least nine months to decide on selling the app in the U.S., with the potential for an extension to a year if deemed necessary by the president.

The coming year for TikTok in the U.S. will likely be dominated by legal battles, legislative maneuvers, and public relations campaigns. One of the company’s most potent tools is its vast user base. Remember when it urged users to contact lawmakers, resulting in a flood of calls to Congress? Expect more outreach efforts from TikTok as it fights to remain operational in the U.S.

For the average user, however, the immediate future of TikTok will likely resemble the past year on the platform. For now, it’s business as usual, with content ranging from dancing videos to adorable pets and humorous clips.

However, the struggle for the app’s long-term viability will cast a shadow over everything.


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