1. Home
  2. News
  3. Is tiktok getting banned

Is TikTok Getting Banned? Not Yet, But It’s Not Looking Good

TikTok is encountering a serious challenge as US President Joe Biden signed a bill that could likely shut down the app across the US entirely. If the bill becomes law, ByteDance must decide whether to divestiate TikTok to a US-based authority or be blocked nationwide. In this context, we will take a look at the potential of getting TikTok banned in US, the time to take effect, and counteractions by TikTok to fight back. 

TikTok app on phone

Why is TikTok getting banned?

With nearly 170 million users, TikTok is one of the most influential social networks in the US. However, US officials have been raising concerns for several years that the China-based company ByteDance may misuse sensitive data from short-form videos of American users in favor of the Chinese government. 

On April 24, the US President signed a foreign aid package, including a potential TikTok ban in case the Chinese side declines a divesture. According to that, ByteDance will be allowed to continue to operate until Jan 2025, with a possible extension of three months in case of progression. In contrast, China is expected to block any sale. What makes the deal unlikely is the algorithm at the bottom of TikTok’s heart, and China is unwilling to provide its technology to the United States. In response to the bill, China accused the US of violating fair competition and international economic and trade rules. Wang Wenbin, China’s spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, “Trying to steal something valuable by any means necessary is a total bandit approach.”

Additionally, there are footprints of the Israel – Palestine war behind the scenes that inflamed the US political atmosphere to take serious actions against the popular app. In this regard, Utahn senator Mitt Romney said the wide requests for getting TikTok banned are due to overwhelming Palestine content and too much advocacy. According to new research by Northeastern, “pro-Palestinian posts significantly outnumber pro-Israeli posts and follow a very different pattern.”

What’s coming next?

Nevertheless, TikTok and ByteDance decided to fight back to stop the law and U.S banning TikTok. They filed a lawsuit in the federal court claiming that the new law violated the US Constitution and the First Amendment about protecting free speech. The suit argues that “the law silences the 170 million Americans who use the platform to communicate in ways that cannot be replicated elsewhere.” Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce in China reiterated on Thursday its commitment to firmly protect its rightful rights and interests by utilizing all necessary means.

“Rest assured: we are not going anywhere,” TikTok’s chief executive Shou Chew said in a video just after the bill was signed on Wednesday, April 24. He declared that there is no evidence of data misuse on the TikTok platform threatening users’ privacy. Moreover, ByteDance denies the allegations of being under the control of the Chinese government.

If they get TikTok banned, it will be the first time in United States history that this happens to a specific platform, depriving American users of a unique online community. However, it is worth noting that this social media platform is already banned in a few countries, but fans use VPNs to access TikTok.