Owner ByteDance has 270 days to sell off TikTok.
The TikTok logo on a blue and pink background.

On April 24, President Joe Biden signed a foreign aid package that also included a bill that could ban TikTok in the United States. This ban can only be averted if the China-based company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, sells off the popular social media app before the 270 day time limit is up.

This gives ByteDance until January 19, 2025 to sell TikTok. An additional 90 day extension could be offered by President Biden if he sees that ByteDance is making progress on a sale.

According to the US government, TikTok is viewed as a "national security concern" because ByteDance is based in China, and has to adhere to Chinese law and the Chinese government. China is one of the few "foreign adversaries" of the United States government. Basically, our government is concerned over all of the data TikTok collects on users that could be used in one way or another by the Chinese government. There is also a great fear that TikTok and its suggestion algorithm could be used to influence American citizens by promoting propaganda disguised as legitimate content. This last bit is especially important given that we are rapidly approaching a new election season in the United States.

TikTok has maintained the stance that they do not answer to Beijing or the Chinese government. TikTok CEO Shou Chew put up a new video today where he says that the company has "built safeguards that no other peer company has made. We have invested billions of dollars to secure your data and keep our platform free from outside manipulation."

Should the ban go into effect in 2025, app stores would not be allowed to let any American download the app, nor download any updates for the app. All web hosting services would also not be allowed to legally host the TikTok app or any TikTok services. Violations could result in fines of up to $5,000 per user for any company that helps to keep TikTok online in the United States.

TikTok spokesperson Alex Haurek says that the company does plan to challenge the new law in the courts. TikTok says that they feel the ban is "unconstitutional." A legal battle against the US government could possibly result in a shift to the ban deadline.