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Biden campaign to stay on TikTok even after president signs law to force sale or ban app in US

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The Biden campaign will stay on TikTok, even after President Biden signed a bill into law that would force its China-based parent company to sell the video sharing social media platform or face a ban in the United States, Fox News has learned. 

Biden campaign officials told Fox News on Wednesday that the Biden-Harris campaign ‘will stay on TikTok.’ 

President Biden, on Wednesday morning, signed a Senate-passed bill to force TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, to sell the app or be banned in the United States, as lawmakers accuse the platform of being a risk to U.S. national security, collecting user data, and spreading propaganda. 

The TikTok legislation was part of a set of bills providing $95 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 

House Republicans’ decision last week to attach the TikTok bill to the foreign aid package helped expedite its passage, after an earlier version of the bill had stalled in the Senate. The Senate version would have given ByteDance six months to divest its stake in the platform, which some lawmakers believed was too short of a window for a complex deal potentially worth tens of billions of dollars.

The new measure gives ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok, as well as a possible three-month extension if a sale is in progress. The bill would also prohibit the company from controlling the algorithm that shows users videos based on their interests.

The passage of the legislation comes amid bipartisan fears in Congress over Chinese threats, which includes the ownership of TikTok. Lawmakers and administration officials have expressed concerns for years that Chinese officials could force ByteDance to provide U.S. user data and influence Americans by promoting certain content on the platform.

China has previously said it would oppose forcing the sale of TikTok, and has signaled it would oppose the latest legislation. TikTok has long denied it is a security threat, and is preparing a lawsuit to block the legislation.

‘At the stage that the bill is signed, we will move to the courts for a legal challenge,’ TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman, wrote in a memo sent to employees on Saturday.

‘This is the beginning, not the end of this long process,’ Beckerman wrote.

The platform has had some success with court challenges in the past, but it has never attempted to prevent federal legislation from going into effect.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, TikTok blasted the law as ‘unconstitutional.’

‘This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court,’ TikTok said in a statement. ‘We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail.’ 

The company said it has ‘invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation.’ 

‘This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans,’ the company continued. ‘As we continue to challenge this unconstitutional ban, we will continue investing and innovating to ensure TikTok remains a space where Americans of all walks of life can safely come to share their experiences, find joy, and be inspired.’

Fox News’ Mark Merideth, Landon Mion and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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