TikTok: Implementing the decision of the House of Representatives of Congress would be a violation of freedom of speech

In recent months, US officials have expressed concern about TikTok's popularity among young people

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TikTok, Photo: Reuters
TikTok, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The company TikTok stated that the implementation of the decision of the House of Representatives of the US Congress to ban the platform would be a violation of the freedom of speech for more than 170 million Americans who use it, reports the BBC.

The US Congress passed a law on Saturday that foresees a ban on the popular social network for sharing short videos, if its owner does not cut ties with China.

The law is part of a US foreign policy package that included aid to Ukraine and if it becomes law after the Senate vote, the company that manages TikTok, Bytedance, will have nine months to sell its stake to another owner with a possible three-month extension. Otherwise, they will face a ban.

In recent months, US officials have expressed concern about TikTok's popularity among young people.

They allege that Bytedance is subordinated to the political interests of official Beijing, which the company has repeatedly denied.

Beijing's influence over private companies has worried the US in recent years, as has the Chinese Communist Party's control over Bytedance and the data it holds.

China dismissed these concerns as "American paranoia".

The Senate is expected to vote on the law as early as next week, and earlier US President Joseph Biden said that he would sign the law immediately afterwards.

A spokesperson for TikTok strongly condemned the law, saying it would "infringe on the free speech rights of 170 million Americans and shut down a platform that brings $24 billion to the US economy annually.

TikTok claims that Bytedance is "not an agent of China or any other country". The company Bytedance itself, on the other hand, states that it is not a Chinese company, pointing to many global investment firms from the West that own 60 percent of the company.

Founded in 2012 by Chinese entrepreneurs, Bytedance launched TikTok a year later.

The application for that social network was banned in China, but in five years it gained one billion users worldwide.

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