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Mar 14, 2024

US bans TikTok

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FA News Desk
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The US Congress has endorsed a bill to ban TikTok on Wednesday March 13.

It is estimated that the China-based owner ByteDance’s TikTok is being used by about 170 million Americans. According to the bill, it would also require ByteDance to give up control of TikTok’s well-known algorithm and if the company chooses not to sell, TikTok would be prohibited from app stores offered by Apple and Google.

Lawmakers at the House of Representatives from Republican and Democratic Parties have long expressed concerns that Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over data on the 170 million Americans who use TikTok. However, TikTok has denied assertions that it could be used as a tool of the Chinese government. The company has said it has never shared US user data with Chinese authorities and won’t do so if it’s asked.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also warned in a report released Monday that the Chinese government has used TikTok to influence recent US elections.

The Senate would also need to pass the measure for it to become law.

In 2020, former President Donald Trump attempted to ban the social media platform through an executive order. This was later blocked by the courts after TikTok sued.

If the House bill becomes law, it would be bad news for small businesses who rely on the platform for marketing or selling products on TikTok Shop.

App users can try to use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to disguise their location and bypass such restrictions, said Roger Entner, a telecom analyst and the founder of Recon Analytics.

The country’s government blamed the social media platform for “disrupting social harmony, goodwill, and flow of indecent materials.”

Earlier, Nepal’s government has also banned the popular social media app TikTok saying it was disrupting “social harmony” in the country.

He said that to make social media platforms accountable,

The government has asked the China-based owner of ByteDance’s TikTok companies to register and open a liaison office in Nepal, pay taxes and abide by the country’s laws and regulations.

TikTok has faced scrutiny in a number of countries because of concerns that Beijing could use the app to harvest user data or advance its interests.

Countries including the United States, Britain and New Zealand have banned the app on government phones despite TikTok repeatedly denying that it has ever shared data with the Chinese government.

However, stakeholders including various rights organizations and political leaders have strongly expressed deep regret and labeled the move on the popular social network TikTok as a curtailment of personal freedom granted to citizens in the Constitution of Nepal 2072 BS.

TikTok is banned in 27 countries–Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Somalia, Taiwan, United Kingdom United States so far.