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What Does Biden Signing The TikTok Ban Into Law Mean For Its Future?

On April 24, President Joe Biden signed a bill that could lead to a nationwide TikTok ban. This news comes a little more than a month after the House approved the bill and had it sent up to the Senate. The House of Representatives, by a wide margin, passed the bill, which would make it illegal to distribute or host TikTok in the U.S. 

Now that President Biden has signed the potential TikTok ban into law, what does this mean for users of the beloved app? 

According to CNN, Congress passed the bill as part of a wide-ranging foreign aid package meant to support Israel and Ukraine. The House approved the bill on April 20 and the Senate on April 23. US officials have had concerns about TikTok since 2020, and this legislation poses the most serious risk to the app to date. TikTok is now being forced to find a new owner within the coming months, and if it doesn’t, it will be banned from the U.S. entirely. 

If you’re also feeling confused about the legislation, allow me to break it down as best as I can for you. The bill that Biden signed gives TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, less than 9 months to sell its stake in TikTok under the threat of being shut down, according to NPR. In 2017, ByteDance purchased the app, which was called Musical.ly at the time, and renamed it to TikTok, the app we all know and love today. Since then, the TikTok has been “under the microscope of national security officials in Washington fearing possible influence by the Chinese government,” NPR reports. 

If ByteDance does not sell TikTok within a few months, the app will be prohibited from US app stores and other “internet housing services” that support the platform. If this is the case, new downloads of the app and interactions with it will be restricted. 

And selling TikTok won’t be that easy. According to NPR, “Any company, or set of investors, angling to purchase TikTok would have to receive the blessing of the Chinese government, and officials in Beijing have strongly resisted a forced sell.” 

Biden’s decision to sign the bill on April 24 sets ByteDance’s deadline to sell for January 19, 2025. 

According to CNN, if Biden feels the company has made progress towards a sale, the deadline can be extended by 90 days, which would give TikTok up to a year before facing an official ban. 

As a result to Biden signing this potential ban into law, TikTok is now threatening legal action. The company’s CEO Shou Chew has already shared that TikTok’s not“going anywhere.” 

Chew added, “We are confident and we will keep fighting for your rights in the court.” 

A statement from a TikTok spokesperson called this law “unconstitutional,” and argued that the ban would “devastate” the platform’s users and businesses that operate on the app. 

So, what does all of this mean for users of TikTok? To put it simply, if TikTok can’t separate from ByteDance by the deadline, US TikTok users could be cut off from using the app by mid-January 2025. As of this writing, TikTok users can still use the app as normal, however, don’t be surprised if your FYP starts to fill up with petitions, calls to action, and stories about the ban. 

It’s still unclear what the future of TikTok looks like, but we will continue to update you as the story progresses. 

Eileen is a senior at Fairfield University who is studying Communications with minors in English, Professional Writing, and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. She has a passion for magazine writing and hopes to pursue a career in the field. Eileen is the Entertainment & Culture Intern at Her Campus where she covers all things pop culture, entertainment, and internet trends. Eileen was formerly a National Writer for Her Campus from April 2023 - January 2024. Eileen is one of the Campus Correspondents (CCs) at Her Campus' Fairfield University chapter. She oversees the entire chapter and works with her other CC to curate ideas and events for HCFU. She also mentors and trains the editorial team and helps create content and boost engagement alongside the social media team. In her free time, you can find Eileen creating new Spotify playlists, getting a sweet treat with friends, or obsessing over Taylor Swift. If she isn’t doing that, you’ll likely find Eileen with her six best friends from school talking about their “Big Three”: "Normal People," their favorite "Dancing With The Stars" performances, and Greta Gerwig's "Little Women."