The Senate voted Wednesday unanimously to pass a bill that would ban TikTok on government-issued devices.
The bill must still be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives before going to President Joe Biden for approval. The House of Representatives would need to pass the Senate bill before the current congressional session ends, which is expected next week.
The vote is the latest action on the part of U.S. lawmakers to crackdown on Chinese companies amid national security fears that Beijing could use them to spy on Americans.
The Senate action comes after North Dakota and Iowa this week joined a growing number of U.S. states in banning TikTok, owned by ByteDance, from state-owned devices amid concerns that data could be passed on to the Chinese government.
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“TikTok raises multiple flags in terms of the amount of data it collects and how that data may be shared with and used by the Chinese government,” Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement.
The Senate in August 2020 unanimously approved legislation to bar TikTok from government devices. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Josh Hawley, reintroduced it in legislation in 2021.
“TikTok is a major security risk to the United States, and it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said previously.
In 2020, then-President Donald Trump attempted to block new users from downloading TikTok and ban other transactions that would have effectively blocked the apps’ use in the United States but lost a series of court battles over the measure.
The U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a powerful national security body, in 2020 ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok because of the fears that U.S. user data could be passed to the Chinese government, though ByteDance has not done so.