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    TikTok Criticises US Ban Or Divest Bill, Vows To Fight In Court

    Social media platform TikTok released a statement on April 24, criticising the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” which would force the company’s Chinese parent company ByteDance to shut down its American operations or divest its interests in the company. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on the same day, after it had been passed by the senate on April 23. Posted on its website, the company statement reiterated its decision to challenge the legislation in the courts.

    “This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court. We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail. The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation. This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans. As we continue to challenge this unconstitutional ban, we will continue investing and innovating to ensure TikTok remains a space where Americans of all walks of life can safely come to share their experiences, find joy, and be inspired,” said the company.

    TikTok CEO Shou Chew also released a video statement to users, characterising the act as a “TikTok ban and a ban on you and your voice.” He also encouraged users to share videos on the impact TikTok has had on their lives. “Rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere,” declared Chew, “We are confident and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts.”

    According to sources accessed by Reuters, TikTok owner ByteDance would prefer to shut down its US operations if legal options fail, rather than sell its stake. This decision is made to protect the proprietary algorithms that form the core of ByteDance’s overall operations. 

    TikTok is facing regulatory challenges in multiple jurisdictions, since its 2019 ban in India over allegations of Chinese influence, similar to the ones that led to the current US move. More recently, as Reuters reported, the European Commission opened an investigation into TikTok Lite’s reward programme, which offers monetary rewards for screen time, which may have a possible addictive effect on children. The company decided to halt its rewards program and pause the rollout of TikTok lite in other member nations. 

    TikTok is already facing an investigation into alleged breaches of advertising transparency and obligations to protect minors.

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    The post TikTok Criticises US Ban Or Divest Bill, Vows To Fight In Court appeared first on MediaNama.

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