May 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

TikTok ban in the USA: Americans force the owner company to sell its assets

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban TikTok in the United States unless the company that owns it sells it to Americans.

But what is the real reason for the ban and the call for a change in the owner's status? The ban was passed during voting on the package With $95 billion worth of military and economic aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, few people paid attention to this event.

The TikTok bill passed with 360 votes in favor and 58 against, like everything else that passed as part of the “package.”

The 184-page sanctions bill includes a provision that would force TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell its stake in the popular video platform to the US company within a year or face a ban. What is not taken into account is that this is a violation of free market rules, while the official argument is that Chinese propaganda is being spread through this platform.

It should be emphasized that US presidential candidate Donald Trump also uses a popular social network, and until now it has been the main means of disseminating his ideas and statements. The decision of some Republicans is actually unclear “make them fall silent” a social network in which, of course, it cannot be said that freedom of speech is limited, following in practice a policy that suits “democrats”.

Specifically, the legislation, which passed the House of Representatives and must be approved by the Senate, gives ByteDance nine months to divest its ownership and gives the president the option of opting for a three-month extension. Of course, here we can say that the nine-month period allows Donald Trump to continue his campaign until the election and, if he is re-elected president, to re-change the law regarding social networks. But also disappointed are millions of Americans who used TikTok to expand their turnover and business.

About 150 million Americans are registered on TikTok

Lawmakers are said to have raised concerns about national security and data privacy from TikTok. Supporters of the social media app are questioning the constitutionality of restrictions on Americans' free speech rights. Wall Street is concerned about who might buy TikTok if Chinese owner ByteDance forces a stock sale.

Microsoft, Meta, Apple and Oracle were named as potential buyers. Rumble, a “free speech-focused” YouTube competitor, has also been discussed as a potential buyer. One obstacle is the large scale of its user market. Previously, the social network was valued at $50 billion.

Because the TikTok ban is now “nested” into the aid package for Ukraine and Israel, which is widely believed to must be adopted urgently, at the Senate there will be no choice but to approve this measure. And here another question arises – how did the Republicans agree to pass a bill that included completely different points?

Senate leaders vowed to quickly move the measure forward and get it to President Biden for his signature. Prior to the bill's passage, TikTok released a statement calling it violation of freedom of speech rightsand the company's CEO also called on American users to immediately campaign to stop the bill.

TikTok Statement

“It is unfortunate that the House is using the cover of significant foreign and humanitarian aid to once again block a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, destroy seven million businesses, and shut down a platform that generates $24 billion annually in US economy.”

Is China spying on Americans the problem? What's on the other side?

It's no secret that the good corporation (the name probably came from Google's motto – “Don't be evil”) and its colleagues at Microsoft, Meta, Apple and Oracle are actively cooperating with the US authorities and without any difficulties are transferred to American intelligence services any data on its users, including correspondence and their geographical location. We will not say anything about the fact that these companies own social networks and search engines, which allow them to impose their point of view on any country or any political force, or, conversely, remove them from the Internet, thus depriving them of the opportunity to express their point of view. And these are not unfounded accusations, but real facts, confirmed by thousands of examples.

And then someone appeared who did not want to share such data. Naturally, this strains the hegemon, who is accustomed to getting everything he needs through force.

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