Saturday, May 18, 2024

TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance has sued US: What the lawsuit means and more – Times of India

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TikTok and its parent company China’s ByteDance are fighting back against a recent US law that could force them to sell the popular video app or shut it down entirely. They filed a lawsuit in a federal court, claiming the law violates the US Constitution, specifically protections for free speech under the First Amendment. The law, signed by President Biden in April, gives ByteDance until January 2025 to sell TikTok or face a ban.
In 2020 too, citing a threat to national security, then US President Donald Trump‘s Commerce Department had sought to prevent the app from being downloaded in app stores and attempted to outlaw transactions between Americans and TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance.However, the attempt failed in US court.
TikTok denies security concerns
The lawsuit argues that the law is unnecessary and based on speculation. They deny any possibility of sharing user data with the Chinese government and accuse US lawmakers of being paranoid.
The lawsuit highlights the impact on millions of Americans who use the platform. They argue that a forced sale or shutdown would silence these users and harm their ability to express themselves.
National security concerns behind the ‘ban’
The US government, however, is concerned about potential national security risks associated with Chinese ownership. They worry that user data could be accessed by the Chinese government.
Long Standing tension between US and China
This lawsuit is just the latest chapter in a years-long battle between the US and China over technology and internet control. Both countries have taken actions to restrict access to each other’s platforms, citing national security concerns. In April, Apple was forced to remove WhatsApp and Threads from its China App Store due to Chinese security concerns.
Key points of the TikTok lawsuit:
* 170 million Americans use TikTok. The company argues a ban would silence these users.
* Divesting TikTok is impossible. They claim China wouldn’t allow them to sell the key technology behind the app.
* TikTok has a proposed security agreement with the US government. This agreement includes a “shut-down option” if TikTok violates its terms.
* The lawsuit questions the urgency of the ban. They point out that the Biden administration continues to use TikTok, suggesting it may not be a true security threat.

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