Biden Agrees to Sign Bill That Could Ban TikTok If Congress Passes It

President Joe Biden is expressing support for a bipartisan proposal that could ban the video-sharing app TikTok from the United States on national security grounds.

The president told reporters outside Air Force One that he would sign the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act if Congress approves the bill.

“If they pass it, I’ll sign it,” President Biden said.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously approved the measure on a 50–0 vote on March 7.

Should it become law, it would grant the president the authority to force the divestiture of social media companies operating in the United States that are more than 20 percent controlled by one of four covered nations or their related entities.

Those nations are China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

Foremost among those companies, and named explicitly in the bill, is TikTok, which is owned by the China-based ByteDance.

Security experts have long warned that TikTok is a weaponized application that could be used to promote Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda or feed Americans’ data directly to the regime.

Notably, TikTok officials previously acknowledged suppressing and “heating” content at the regime’s request, but claim that is no longer the company’s practice. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is investigating ByteDance for allegedly using TikTok geolocation data to stalk and harass U.S. journalists who reported about the company’s links to the CCP.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said the effort is essential to ending the CCP’s efforts to “target, surveil, and manipulate Americans.”

“We have given TikTok a clear choice: Divest from your parent company, which is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, and remain in operation in the United States, or side with the Chinese Communist Party and face a ban,” she said.

“Companies controlled by a foreign adversary like the CCP will never embrace American values, virtues of our society and culture like freedom of speech, human rights, the rule of law, a free press, and others.”

President Biden’s reelection campaign joined TikTok last month, even as the app is banned on government devices due to national security concerns. That decision has led some in Congress to question the president’s sincerity regarding a willingness to sign the legislation.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) suggested that the Biden administration isn’t really serious about passing the TikTok bill as it’s made its way through Congress.

“The Biden administration says one thing and does another,” he told The Epoch Times’ sister media outlet NTD. “You don’t open up an account of anything that you say you want to abolish.

“We’ve got to get completely separated from China as best we can. And the process starts by not letting them infiltrate the minds of young people and adults.”

Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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