The US House votes to ban TikTok – but it’s not as bad as you think

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that calls upon TikTok to divest itself from Chinese owner ByteDance or face a nationwide ban. The bipartisan bill comes from the leaders of the House Select Committee on China, and aims to curb the possibility that TikTok could be used by the Chinese government to influence US politics or gather information about US citizens. While the bill’s passage is certainly a step toward a possible ban, there are numerous, complicated steps remaining, and in the end, an outright ban seems unlikely. 

The next step for a TikTok ban would be the passage of a companion measure in the US Senate, then reconciliation between those two bills before the law is sent to the President to be signed. There is no companion bill in the Senate, so there won’t be any imminent vote, and no law will be sent to President Biden’s desk any time soon.