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Biden signs bill to ban TikTok in the U.S

President Joe Biden signed a foreign aid package that includes a bill that would ban TikTok if China-based parent company ByteDance fails to divest the app within a year.

The divest-or-ban bill is now law, starting the clock for ByteDance to make its move. The company initially had nine months to sort out a deal, though the president could extend that another three months if he sees progress.

Even without the extension, the earliest a ban could start is January 2025. With the extension, it would be April. And with TikTok threatening legal action, the matter could get tied up in the courts for even longer. It’s a shift from an earlier House-passed bill that included a six-month window that could have triggered a TikTok ban before the November election.

A senior Republican aide said Democrats were responsible for the change. “Senate Democrats had been pretty consistent about wanting to extend that timeline,” the aide said.

The election was “definitely” something “conveniently addressed” by the new deadline, said a Democratic source close to the issue.

TikTok plans to challenge the law in the courts, Bloomberg reported based on an internal memo, which could ultimately extend the timeline should the courts delay enforcement pending a resolution. There also remains the question of how China will respond and whether it will let ByteDance sell TikTok and, most importantly, its coveted algorithm that keeps users coming back to the app.

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