The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that could potentially ban TikTok nationwide if its parent company, Chinese firm ByteDance, refuses to sell.

The measure sailed through with a significant majority of 352-65 and is now headed to the Senate, where its fate is less certain. TikTok, with its impressive user base of over 150 million in the US, is fully owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance Ltd.

Congressional members argue that ByteDance falls under the control of the Chinese government, which could demand access to TikTok user data in the US at any time. This concern stems from Chinese national security laws mandating cooperation in intelligence gathering by companies.

Opinions on the bill diverge among the two presidential candidates. While Republican Donald Trump voiced concern, stating TikTok poses a national security threat, he cautioned against an outright ban, likening it to favoritism toward Facebook. Conversely, Joe Biden expressed willingness to sign the bill should both houses of Congress approve it.

Beijing’s response came earlier in the day, warning that a US TikTok ban “would inevitably rebound against the United States.”

In a daily briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticized Washington, stating that despite lacking evidence of TikTok posing a threat to American national security, the US has persisted in suppressing the app. Wang labeled such actions as “bullying behavior.”

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