The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would force Chinese company ByteDance to sell its platform TikTok within a year.

TikTok has told employees it will fight ongoing attempts to ban the app in the US, the Independent reported.

"THE RIGHTS OF 170 MILLION AMERICANS ARE BEING VIOLATED"

TikTok's head of public policy, Michael Beckerman, sent a memo to staff saying that the legislation is a clear violation of the rights of TikTok's 170 million American users.

Beckerman also told employees that if the bill becomes law, the company will go to the courts for a legal challenge.

"We will continue to fight. This is the beginning of a long process, not the end," Michael said.

EXPECTED TO BECOME LAW THIS WEEK

The bill is expected to pass the Senate this week and then be signed into law by US President Joe Biden.

Many US lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as the Biden administration, say TikTok poses national security risks because China could force the company to share data on US users.

There are also concerns that the algorithm could be used to transmit misinformation and propaganda to US citizens.


"A BILL THAT TRAMPLES ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION"

"It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian aid to once again squeeze through a ban bill that would trample on the freedom of expression of 170 million Americans," TikTok said in a statement.

On the other hand, TikTok insists that it has never and will never share US data.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that TikTok could be used as a propaganda tool by the Chinese government, noting that "many young people" use TikTok to get news.

Some Democrats also raised free speech concerns about the ban and called for stronger data privacy legislation instead.

APPROXIMATELY 6 MONTHS DEADLINE

In a vote on March 13, the House had given ByteDance nearly six months to divest TikTok's assets in the US or face a ban.

On Saturday, April 20, the law adopted on Saturday gives TikTok a nine-month deadline, which can be extended to a date three months later if it is determined that progress is being made towards a sale.

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PARTIAL BANS IN MANY COUNTRIES

TikTok is already banned in many countries, including India. Partial bans are also in place in other major markets, including the European Union.