TikTok ban bill moves to Joe Biden's desk after Senate passes legislation forcing Chinese company to sell

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The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, and Joe Biden signed it.

The United States Senate has passed a controversial TikTok ban bill that requires the China-based company behind the influential social media site to sell the video-sharing platform or face a ban in the nation.

Per the Associated Press, President Joe Biden indicated that he will sign the bill — and did so — after it passed in a 79-18 vote and was attached to a $95 million package that also included foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel.

The bill stipulates that ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, can no longer control the social media site's algorithm, and has nine months to sell the site, with a three-month extension in the circumstance that a sale is in progress, but not completed, by that deadline.

A spokesperson for TikTok tells Entertainment Weekly in a statement that the bill is "unconstitutional," and that the company "will challenge it in court."

<p>AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> TikTok headquarters

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

TikTok headquarters

"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 7 million businesses and silence 170 million Americans," the statement continues. "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."

A publicly available section on TikTok's website addresses the platform's ties to China, claiming that "roughly 60 percent of the company is beneficially owned by global institutional investors such as Carlyle Group, General Atlantic, and Susquehanna International Group" and is not entirely Chinese-owned. It further maintains that TikTok is an "entertainment app," and that none of its five members on the board of directors are "a part of any government or state entity."

The Senate's move is expected to elicit pushback from TikTok's community of creators — many of whom have become notable celebrities, and who make a living earning money from viral videos on the site.

<p>AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> TikTok

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images


TikTok has also become a major launching pad for hit songs, with its viral capabilities laying the foundation for Meghan Trainor's return to the American charts in 2022 with her single "Made You Look," as well as the resurgence of Lady Gaga's 2011 Born This Way album song "Bloody Mary," which entered the contemporary Billboard Hot 100 due to popularity in TikTok videos themed to Jenna Ortega's Wednesday series.

Many political figures have criticized TikTok, including The View star Alyssa Farah Griffin, who spoke out against the platform in March by calling it "a weapon of the Chinese Communist Party" on social media.

In February, TikTok made headlines amid a dispute with record company Universal Music Group. After failing to come to an agreement on payment for licensed songs by UMG artists like Taylor SwiftDrakeBad BunnyBillie EilishAriana GrandeSZAAdele, and Gaga, all UMG material was pulled from TikTok.

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