Early on Tuesday, US lawmakers added a provision to a crucial spending bill that would prevent federal employees from using the Chinese app TikTok on equipment owned by the government.
Last week, the Senate approved a measure introduced by Republican Senator Josh Hawley that would forbid federal employees from using the ByteDance-owned short video app on equipment provided by the government. It was the most recent move by American lawmakers to take action against Chinese firms because of concerns about national security.
The restriction is part of a sizable omnibus bill to fund U.S. government operations, which is scheduled for vote this week. TikTok is to be removed from federal devices within 60 days, according to the bill, which gives the White House Office of Management and Budget that time to “develop standards and guidelines for executive agencies requiring the removal.”
The expected inclusion of the proposed ban in the legislation was previously reported by Reuters.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy supported the idea last week.
According to TikTok, the worries are primarily brought on by false information. The more than 100 million Americans who use TikTok on personal or business-owned devices wouldn’t be impacted by the legislation.
TikTok is already prohibited from being used on devices owned by many federal agencies, including the White House, the Defense, Homeland Security, and State departments.
The use of TikTok on government-owned devices was also prohibited by state agencies in Louisiana and West Virginia on Monday due to worries that China might use it to track Americans and censor content.
Currently, TikTok access on computers used by the government is at least partially blocked in 19 of the 50 U.S. states. The majority of the limitations began within the last two weeks.
Donald Trump, a Republican who was the president at the time, tried to stop new users from downloading TikTok and to forbid other transactions that would have effectively stopped the use of the app in the United States in 2020, but he failed in his efforts after losing a number of legal battles.
It appears that no deal will be reached before the end of the year despite months of efforts by the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a national security body, to reach an agreement.
(Adapted from SCMP.com)