TikTok ban is headed for the Senate. Credit: 5./15 WEST / iStock Unreleased / Getty Images

The House of Representatives approved a measure potentially banning TikTok in the U.S. with a vote of 352 to 65 on Wednesday. Fifty Democrats and 15 Republicans opposed the bill.

Named the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Advisory Controlled Applications Act,” the bill enjoyed bipartisan backing within its committee and the House. Now, it awaits Senate review where its fate is uncertain. The legislation aims to remove TikTok from U.S. app stores unless it separates from its parent company, ByteDance.

Critics assert that TikTok presents a national security risk due to its Chinese-based parent company, which could be compelled by Chinese intelligence laws to share data from TikTok’s 170 million American users. TikTok has consistently refuted allegations that Chinese authorities could access U.S. user data.

In 2022, the app began directing all U.S. user data to Oracle’s cloud infrastructure to allay concerns of potential Chinese government access.

SEE ALSO: Another bill suggests a TikTok ‘ban.’ Can it become reality?

The bill is now set for Senate consideration, and if passed, it will reach President Joe Biden’s desk for approval. Biden, whose campaign leveraged TikTok, has expressed willingness to sign the bill, requiring TikTok to divest within five months or face U.S. prohibition.

This marks not the first attempt to ban the app in the U.S. – former President Donald Trump sought to do so via executive order in 2020, several states pursued bans, and the app was barred on government devices. TikTok contested most bans in court successfully, arguing that a blanket ban infringed users’ First Amendment rights.

TikTok has vigorously lobbied against bans citing free speech, including prompting users to contact legislators and oppose the app prohibition. Congress received numerous calls as a result.

Topics Apps & Software TikTok Politics

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Christianna Silva
Senior Culture Reporter

Christianna Silva is a Senior Culture Reporter at Mashable. They write about tech and digital culture, with a focus on Facebook and Instagram. Before joining Mashable, they worked as an editor at NPR and MTV News, a reporter at Teen Vogue and VICE News, and as a stablehand at a mini-horse farm. You can follow them on Twitter @christianna_j.


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