You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Is TikTok Getting Banned In the U.S.? Here's What We Know So Far The House passed a bill that could ban TikTok in the country that uses it the most.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • According to some lawmakers, TikTok’s current ownership structure could make it a national security threat.
  • A bill that requires TikTok to separate from its parent company, or be banned in the U.S., just passed the House.
  • The U.S. has the largest TikTok user base in the world.
entrepreneur daily

Update: Senators are already indicating support or opposition to the bill, with John Fetterman (D-PA) committing to vote yes to the potential ban and Mike Lee (R-UT) deciding to vote against it.

It's unclear whether the Senate will vote on the bill before a two-week recess at the end of March. TikTok is expected to challenge the bill in court if it is signed into law.

Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA) released a joint statement supporting the bill.

Original story from March 13:

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have passed a bill that could ban TikTok in the country that uses it the most.

The vote passed 352-65, with 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans voting against it. One Democrat voted present.

The bipartisan bill, called the "Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act," now moves to the Senate, where its fate is unclear. If it reaches the desk of President Joe Biden, he is likely to sign it, as per his previous remarks.

Related: TikTok CEO Testifies in House Hearing: We Are Building 'Firewall' Around U.S. Data

If passed, the bill would require TikTok to separate from its parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, within 6 months or face the consequence of being blocked from U.S. app stores.

Tik Tok CEO, Shou Chew is seen during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with representatives of social media companies at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Lawmakers have repeatedly scrutinized TikTok's ties to the Chinese government through ByteDance over the possibility that China could access the data of millions of Americans and that its current ownership structure could make it a national security threat.

"Today we will send a clear message that we will not tolerate our adversaries weaponizing our freedoms against us," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

Some lawmakers, however, including Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), aren't convinced that TikTok is an immediate threat.

"This idea that we're going to ban, essentially, entrepreneurs, small business owners, the main way how young people actually communicate with each other is to me insane," Garcia told AP.

Related: TikTok's CEO Is an Honorary Chair at the 2024 Met Gala

TikTok has repeatedly denied that it is sharing American data with China. The company also launched a lobbying campaign against the bill, which Rodgers called out as an example of the company using "its influence and power to force users to contact their representatives."

"We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realize the impact on the economy, seven million small businesses, and the 170 million Americans who use our service," a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. The company's previous statements point to the right to free expression and the response from constituents over a potential ban.

TikTok became available in the U.S. in 2018 and has since amassed more than 170 million American users. That makes the U.S. the country with the largest TikTok audience in the world, according to Statista estimates.

TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified before Congress for the first time in March and talked about the need for "clear, transparent rules that apply broadly to all tech companies."

Related: A Judge Blocked a U.S. State's Attempt to Ban TikTok for All Residents — Here's Why

The bill now moves to the Senate.

"The Senate will review the legislation when it comes over from the House," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a brief statement.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

I Designed My Dream Home For Free With an AI Architect — Here's How It Works

The AI architect, Vitruvius, created three designs in minutes, complete with floor plans and pictures of the inside and outside of the house.

Science & Technology

These Are the Top 6 AI Threats to Your Business Right Now

The modern workforce is forever changed by artificial intelligence. If you fail to understand that we will all need to learn AI to some degree, you haven't been paying attention.

Business News

This Fan-Favorite Masters 2024 Item Is Still $1.50 as Tournament Menu Appears Unscathed by Inflation

The pimento cheese sandwich is a tradition almost as big as the tournament itself.

Business News

Disney World, Disneyland Will Now 'Permanently' Ban Guests Who Tell This Lie to Skip Lines

The company rolled out changes to its Disability Access Services earlier this week.

Business News

Here's One Thing Americans Would Take a Pay Cut For — Besides Remote Work

An Empower survey found a high percentage of respondents would take a pay cut for better retirement benefits and remote work options.