Who's In Favor Of A Potential TikTok Ban?

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Apr 29, 2024 - 06:45 AM

As part of a larger national security and foreign aid package, President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed into law legislation that forces TikTok parent ByteDance to divest the U.S. arm of its popular social media platform within 270 days or be banned from operating in the United States. The “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” seeks to cut any ties between TikTok, its current parent company and the Chinese government, which allegedly abuses the platform to “surveil and influence the American public” in a way that poses a threat to national security.

As Statista's Felix Richter reports, compared to an earlier standalone bill that had passed the House in March but then failed to gain traction in the Senate, the newly passed bill extends the time given to ByteDance from 180 to 270 days, with the possibility of a 90-day extension if the president finds that significant progress towards a “qualified divesture” has been made. This means that TikTok’s Chinese owner now has until after the U.S. presidential election to find a suitable buyer, turning the question of whether or not TikTok should be divested or banned into a potential election issue.

Sure enough, former president Donald Trump told young voters to remember that “crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok,” when they vote in November, omitting the fact that he tried to ban TikTok himself during his time in office.

And while Trump was right in his view that young Americans would be more likely to oppose legislation against TikTok, he ignored the fact that the vast majority of Republican voters is in favor of a potential ban. According to a recent YouGov/The Economist survey, two thirds of Republicans strongly or somewhat approve the forced divesture/potential ban of TikTok versus just 20 percent who oppose such legislation. Democratic voters are almost evenly split on the issue, with 40 percent of respondents in favor of legislative action against TikTok and its parent company.

Looking at different age groups, the trend is clear: the younger the respondents the more likely they are to oppose a potential TikTok ban, which is easily explained by the fact that young people are much more likely to be TikTok users.

Infographic: Who's in Favor of a Potential TikTok Ban? | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

So what happens next?

If ByteDance fails to find a suitable buyer within the given timeframe, it would be unlawful for app stores and web hosting companies to distribute the app in the United States.

Finding a buyer will be hard though, as any company with an interest and deep-enough pockets to acquire a platform of TikTok's stature will almost certainly face intense scrutiny from the FTC for antitrust reasons.

It's also unlikely that ByteDance will go down without a fight.

"Rest assured, we aren't going anywhere," TikTok CEO Shou Chew said in a video posted on Wednesday, claiming that the ultimate goal of the legislation is to ban TikTok, not sell it.

"We are confident and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts," he said, addressing the platform's 170 million U.S. users directly.