Politics

U.S. House Vote to Decide Fate of China’s TikTok on Wednesday

A bill that would force controversial app TikTok to sever ties with its Chinese parent company ByteDance or get banned in the U.S. goes to a House vote on Wednesday.

The legislation is the biggest threat yet to the video-sharing app which has surged to huge popularity across the world.

At the same time as it has dominated social media networks TikTok has delivered intense nervousness amongst governments and security officials about its ownership and its potential subservience to the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, AFP reports.

In response the company has lobbied Washington lawmakers intensely to get their support for an intensely popular app that has 170 million U.S. users.

The vote is likely to occur at 10:00 am (1400 GMT) and is expected to pass overwhelmingly in a rare moment of bipartisan entente in a politically divided Washington.

The fate of the bill is uncertain in the Senate where key figures are moving to thwart such a drastic move.

President Joe Biden will sign the bill, known officially as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” into law if it came to his desk, the White House has said.

The app has already been banned on U.S. government devices for being a potential national security problem and numerous governors taking similar action in their respective states.

The Heritage Foundation was just one of a number of organisations that added their warning ahead of the vote, with Tech Policy Center Director Kara Frederick saying, “The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act gives ByteDance and TikTok a clear choice: cut ties with the Chinese Communist Party and continue to operate in the United States or immediately cease all business in our country.

“It should be an easy and simple decision for the company, but its executives are panicking because this bill calls their bluff.”

Peter Schweizer’s book, Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans, states the Chinese government has used TikTok as a “modern day Trojan Horse” to inject propaganda into the American youth.

Schweizer, a Breitbart News senior contributor and president of the Government Accountability Institute, explained in Blood Money how Zeng Huafeng of the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) discussed how to defeat the U.S. without firing a shot:

Zeng defines the “cognitive space” as “the area in which feelings, perception, understanding, beliefs, and values exist” and argues that this is where the battle can be won. To that end, he said, Beijing must use “information and popular spiritual and cultural products as weapons to influence people’s psychology, will, attitude, behavior and even change the ideology, values, cultural traditions and social systems.” According to Zeng, these cultural tools, including apps, video games, and films, should be used to “target individuals, groups, countries, and even people around the world.”

Schweizer wrote in Blood Money that Chinese strategists tout TikTok as “information-driven mental warfare” against the United States.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com



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