The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban TikTok‘s availability in the US if its parent company doesn’t sell it.

On March 1, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 24 to 16 to give President Joe Biden the power to enforce a ban on the social media app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. If the ban goes through, it will be the biggest restriction of a social media app in American history.

Now, the House of Representatives has passed that bill, stipulating that if ByteDance doesn’t sell, TikTok would be banned across the US. It was approved with an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority due to concerns that the app is a national security threat. Currently, there are fears that sensitive personal data on US citizens and businesses could be passed to the Chinese government.

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The bill will now be considered by the Senate, and afterwards by President Biden. He has previously indicated he would sign the bill. If he does, ByteDance will have six months to sell TikTok; if it fails to do so, the app will be banned.

TikTok CREDIT: Chesnot/Getty Images

Previously, the legislation garnered criticism from Jenna Leventoff, a senior policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, who said: “We’re disappointed that the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to approve a bill that would effectively ban TikTok in the United States, in violation of Americans’ First Amendment rights. We urge legislators to vote no on this vague, overbroad, and unconstitutional bill.”

So far, more than 30 American states, Canada, and the European Union have separately banned the app from use on government-owned devices over concerns it could be a security risk. India also banned the app nationwide in January 2021, while Taiwan and Afghanistan did the same in 2022.

TikTok has since responded, saying a ban on the app would mean “a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion people who use our service worldwide”. The company has also previously denied accusations that it shares data with the Chinese government and that its data is not held in China.

Meanwhile, Universal Music Group has pulled all music from its labels from the app. The music of Taylor SwiftBad BunnyThe WeekndDrakeBillie EilishJustin BieberAdeleColdplayJ BalvinPost Malone and Sophie Ellis-Bextor has all been affected.

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James Blake has also spoken out about the challenges musicians face getting paid fairly in the TikTok age.

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