House Approves Bill Potentially Banning TikTok Nationwide

As of Wednesday March 13th, The House has officially passed a bill that could lead to a nationwide ban of TikTok if its China-based owner ByteDance doesn’t sell.

The bill will now go to Congress where its prospects are unclear. Lawmakers indicated that it would undergo a thorough review, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying that he’ll have to consult with relevant committee chairs to determine the bill’s path.

President Biden has already indicated that he would sign the bill if passed by Congress, so the fate of TikTok is very much in the hands of Congressional Lawmakers. 

What is Linqia’s take on all of this…

  1. We don’t envision Congress will pass the bill, especially given it’s an election year. There are many examples of bills making it through the house that are put down on the Senate floor. It’s certainly possible that’s not the case here, but we wouldn’t bet on it. 
  2. Even if the bill passes the Senate and is signed by President Biden, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance can comply by selling their stake in the company and no ban will ever take effect. They would have six months to find someone to buy the app, and if they find a buyer that the US government approves the ban will not take effect. That is a likely outcome if the bill passes the Senate. 

Needless to say, between getting passed by the Senate and the six-month option to divest, we view the prospects of a complete ban as highly unlikely. Not to mention the ability for TikTok or some other group to challenge the legality of the bill, which would lead to even further delays as it is hashed out in the courts. 

We will be staying abreast of any updates and will keep you informed as the situation transpires. 

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