The future of TikTok in the U.S. has for a while now been clouded with uncertainty. The saga has been a complex mix of geopolitics, privacy concerns, and the fast-paced world of social media.
As you may know, the Chinese-owned social media app, TikTok, has continued to face several regulatory pushbacks from politicians in the U.S. over its potential ties to the Chinese government.
In the most damning response to these concerns, U.S. Montana State Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill into law on Wednesday that prohibits the use of TikTok in the state in what is the first statewide ban in the U.S.
The ban which is set to take effect on January 1st 2024, imposes a hefty fine of $10,000 per day on app stores or TikTok itself for each instance where an individual is given the opportunity to access the platform or download the app.
This move marks a significant escalation in the ongoing concerns raised by the U.S. government regarding TikTok's ownership by Chinese tech company ByteDance. The scrutiny surrounding TikTok primarily stems from apprehensions over the potential use of US users' data by the Chinese government.
Before now, both the federal government and more than half of the U.S. states had already banned the use of TikTok on government devices. And the Biden administration had threatened a nationwide ban on the app unless ByteDance sells its shares to address the perceived national security risks. While TikTok has repeatedly denied any data sharing with the Chinese government and assured users of its commitment not to do so if requested, scepticism persists.
Considering TikTok's massive user base in the U.S., with over 150 million users, it remains to be seen how this ban will be enforced and what impact it will have on creators and influencers who rely on the platform.