NIXSolutions: U.S. Proposes TikTok Sale Over National Security Concerns

American legislators have introduced a bill aimed at compelling ByteDance to divest its popular short video app, TikTok, within six months. Failure to comply could result in the platform’s blockade in the United States, citing potential national security threats linked to the Chinese ownership of TikTok.


National Security Concerns and Legislative Measures

The proposed legislation represents a significant move by U.S. authorities, the first of its kind in almost a year. The bill, sponsored by members of the House China Committee, emphasizes the perceived threat to national security and urges TikTok to sever ties with the Chinese Communist Party. Should ByteDance fail to sell TikTok within the specified timeframe of 165 days, major app stores, including Apple and Google, would be prohibited from offering the platform, along with hosting services for ByteDance-controlled apps.

ByteDance Response and First Amendment Rights

In response, a ByteDance spokesperson criticized the bill as a direct ban on TikTok, asserting that it infringes on the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and adversely affects 5 million small businesses relying on the platform for growth and job creation.

The White House National Security Council expressed support for the bill, deeming it an “important and welcome step.” They emphasized collaboration with Congress to enhance the legislation and ensure a robust legal foundation. Notably, this development coincides with the launch of a TikTok campaign in February supporting the re-election of the U.S. President.

Presidential Authority and Implications for Platforms

The bill grants the president the authority to identify applications raising national security concerns and empowers them to ban or restrict operations if ownership transfer is refused, notes NIXSolutions. Applicable to platforms with over a million active users annually, the legislation targets organizations deemed hostile.