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    US lawmakers just introduced another bill to ban TikTok. Here’s what it means

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    Omar Chatliwala/Getty Images

    This week, U.S. government officials are once again pushing for legislation to ban the popular short-form video platform TikTok. TikTok has been under intense scrutiny by the US government for years. Former President Donald Trump first tried to force TikTok's parent company, Chinese tech company ByteDance, to sell the app to US tech giant Microsoft in 2020.

    Since then, countries around the world have banned TikTok on government-owned devices, and state governments in the United States have also passed legislation banning the app, citing national security concerns.

    Also: TikTok Bans Explained: Everything You Need to Know

    U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bipartisan bill If that happens, ByteDance will be forced to sell TikTok or face a nationwide ban. Lawmakers have warned that TikTok could be used as a tool by the Chinese government to spy on Americans, influence elections and derail U.S. national security.

    The House committee's bill is called the Protecting Americans from Control Applications by Foreign Adversaries Act. Although the bill does not directly mention TikTok, the members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are proposing the bill frequently mention TikTok in their statements about the bill.

    If enacted, the bill would allow the president to identify applications associated with hostile countries and ban them from app stores and web hosting services. However, the ban can be avoided if the application results in severing ties with the hostile country within 180 days.

    The new law has support from the White House, but has a long way to go before it becomes law. The bill received a unanimous vote in a House committee, but to become law it must pass the House, reach the Senate, be voted on by the Senate, and be signed by the president.

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    The new bill is a continuation of the Limitations and Data Act proposed by U.S. senators and representatives last year. Both bills aim to amend current law regarding the president's power to ban applications nationwide that the government believes pose a national security threat.

    However, neither the Limitation Act nor the Data Act has passed the Senate or House floor. No concrete evidence has been made public that TikTok is a national security concern, but U.S. government officials have stuck to the idea for more than a year.

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