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US President signs law to ban Tiktok



United States President Joe Biden has signed a law that gives ByteDance, owners of TikTok, up to one year to sell the video sharing platform, or face a nationwide ban.

It is the most serious threat yet to the video-streaming app’s future in the U.S., intensifying America’s tech faceoff with China.

Still, the law is not expected to cause any immediate disruption to TikTok, as a forthcoming legal challenge, and various hurdles to selling the app, will most likely cause months of delay.

The measure was tucked into a bill providing foreign aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

The law stipulates that ByteDance must sell its stake in TikTok in 12 months under the threat of being shut down.

ByteDance, in 2017, purchased the popular karaoke app and relaunched the service as TikTok.

Since then, the app has been under the microscope of national security officials in Washington fearing possible influence by the Chinese government.

National intelligence laws in China would require ByteDance to hand over data on Americans if authorities there sought it, but TikTok says it has never received such a request from the Chinese government.

Meanwhile, the TikTok management, in a defiant statement released on Thursday, has vowed to seek redress in court.

Describing the new law as unconstitutional, TikTok boss Shou Zi Chew said “we are confident and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts.”

“The facts, and the Constitution, are on our side… rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere.”

“Make no mistake, this is a ban – a ban on TikTok, and a ban on you, and your voice.

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“The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation,” Mr Chew said.

Read more reports on Diaspora Digital Media 

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