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TikTok boss slams U.S. bill aimed at forcing change in ownership

The chief executive of Chinese social media platform TikTok, Shou Chew, has vowed to fight back against a U.S. law that aimed to force a change in ownership.

The company  will do everything possible and use legal means to defend the platform, Shou said in a video published on Thursday.

The House of Representatives in Washington had  earlier on Wednesday  passed a bill that could ban the popular video-sharing app, owned by China-based ByteDance. The law now goes to the Senate, where its fate is unclear.

Lawmakers who support the bill, however, note that it does not outright ban TikTok.

Instead, it aims to force a change in ownership. The law would only lead to TikTok being banned from U.S. app stores if the service remains in the possession of China’s ByteDance group.

In Washington, there have been fears for years about ByteDance’s access to user data.

Some cyber security experts say the data could be used by Beijing to spread propaganda in the United States, spy on users, and exercise other forms of influence.

Shou said that the law would give a small number of social media companies greater influence.

The TikTok boss also claimed that the bill would jeopardise 300,000 jobs in the US.

TikTok has also repeatedly stressed that small businesses use the service for advertising.

TikTok says it has 170 million U.S. users.

During his time in office as president, Donald Trump attempted to ban TikTok from app stores and compel ByteDance to spin off TikTok. But the effort was stymied by the courts. (dpa/NAN)

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