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House passes bill that could ban TikTok, but it’s not over yet

Published Mar 13th, 2024 12:30PM EDT
TikTok sign
Image: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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On Wednesday morning, the US House of Representatives passed legislation that could result in TikTok being banned in the United States. In a rather rare occurrence for the 118th Congress, the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. The vote was 352-65, with a vast majority of Republicans and Democrats alike voting in favor of designating the popular social media app as a foreign adversary controlled application and a threat to national security.

You can read the entire bill, which is dubbed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, on If the bill actually becomes law, it will be illegal to distribute, maintain, or update any foreign adversary controlled application. As such, TikTok will be banned from web hosting services and digital app marketplaces such as the App Store and Google Play, making TikTok inaccessible in the United States.

The only caveat is that the Chinese tech company ByteDance, which developed TikTok, would have 180 days to sell its stake in the social media platform. The only way to avoid a TikTok ban in the US would be for the developer to remove itself from the equation.

While the US is closer than ever to a TikTok ban, the bill has a much bigger hurdle to overcome before it reaches President Biden’s desk. This all came together relatively quickly in the House, but the Senate has expressed far less urgency.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do yet, got to talk to lots of people,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, leader of the Senate Commerce Committee. “The whole point here is you have a dilemma. You want free speech, but you also want the United States to have some ability to protect U.S. citizens or U.S. military from foreign actors who might be deleterious in what they would be using as a tool of communication. So we want to get a tool to those people, whether that’s the Department of Commerce or DOJ so that they can sustain those actions.”

If it does pass the Senate as well, President Biden has already signaled that he will sign the bill. “If they pass it, I’ll sign it,” Biden told reporters earlier this month.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.