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Breaking news: TikTok block approved in US

US Senate passes bill to allow TikTok to be banned if it is not sold to another company.

Breaking news: TikTok block approved in US

Ultimatum for TikTok. The US Senate has passed the law that will allow the social network to be banned nationally if its Chinese parent company ByteDance does not divest: ByteDance has 270 days to sell TikTok. The US gives it 9 months to divest or it will be banned from use in the US, its first major market with 170 million users and major content producers.

TikTok is accused of spying with its app on the movements and behaviour of users in favour of Beijing. TikTok denies any control by the Chinese government. The platform is trying to stop this political movement with money: ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, has spent 2,680,000 and the other 4.5 million are paid directly by TikTok.

In addition to the 7 million in lobbying, there is a major TV ad campaign with kittens and jumping grandparents and a message that TikTok “brings us closer together” and makes us feel “a little warmer inside”, as its slogan. It has also spent another 400,000 euros on paying influencers who oppose the ban.

Before the Upper House approved the law, TikTok issued a statement a few days ago in which it said that “this ban would violate the free speech rights of 170 million registered users in the United States”, stating that “it would harm small businesses and influencers who have a voice thanks to this application”.

The TikTok Shop has become the internet’s favourite shop.

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