TikTok Strikes Back: Pledges to Contest Imminent Ban

TikTok Strikes Back: Pledges to Contest Imminent Ban

TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, has found itself in the crosshairs of legislators as the House of Representatives considers a proposal that could lead to its ban in the United States. The House tied the bipartisan move to a crucial aid package for Ukraine and Israel, prompting a strong response from TikTok. Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, labeled the potential ban as unconstitutional and pledged to challenge it in court.

Beckerman assured TikTok staffers that this was just the beginning of a lengthy legal battle, emphasizing the company’s commitment to fighting any attempts to remove the app from the U.S. market. Despite President Biden signaling his support for the legislation, TikTok remains firm in its stance against the ban.

The legislative tug-of-war intensified as House Republicans bundled the TikTok ban with a foreign aid package, extending the timeline for ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to divest from the app. Originally mandated to sell within six months, the revised bill now grants a nine-month window, with the possibility of a three-month extension if a sale is in progress.

Mike Johnson, the House speaker, defended the inclusion of the TikTok ban in the aid package, citing national security concerns. However, TikTok pushed back strongly, criticizing the bill for jeopardizing free speech rights, impacting millions of businesses, and disrupting the U.S. economy.

Notably, TikTok mobilized its users to voice opposition to the proposed ban, urging them to contact their senators. The company’s general counsel, Erich Andersen, announced his plans to step down but assured a smooth transition while continuing to advise ByteDance legally.

CEO Shou Zi Chew reiterated TikTok’s determination to combat the legislative threat, emphasizing the platform’s value and engaging with users to lobby against the ban. Despite facing fierce opposition in Congress, TikTok remains resolute in its fight to preserve the app’s presence in the U.S. market, promising to leverage all available legal options to protect its platform and community.

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