A group of US senators has submitted a new bill that, if passed, would prohibit TikTok from operating in the country.
The new legislation introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a bipartisan pair of House members reflects the most significant move by US policymakers against the Chinese-owned app.
The proposed legislation, if passed, would “block and prohibit all transactions” in the United States by social media companies with at least one million monthly users that are based in or have “significant influence” over foreign adversaries, such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.
The Anti-Social CCP Act — which stands for Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship, and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party — explicitly names ByteDance and TikTok as subject to the restrictions in the bill, “unless and until the date on which the President certifies to Congress that the company no longer meets any of the conditions described,” such as being subject to “substantial influence” by a country of concern.
The action was taken after some Republican-led states passed restrictions on TikTok usage on equipment owned by the public sector. Similar legislation has been introduced in at least seven states in the past two weeks, including Maryland, South Dakota, and Utah.
“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” Rubio said in a statement.
“There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.”
“It’s troubling that rather than encouraging the Administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States,” Hilary McQuaide, a spokesperson for TikTok, said in a statement.
“We will continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies—plans that we are well underway in implementing—to further secure our platform in the United States,” McQuaide added.