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This is the first time that a US state has formally and completely banned TikTok from all personal devices.
And let’s not forget the fact that this TikTok app has a Chinese technology company named ByteDance Ltd, which is headquartered in Beijing, China.
Governor of Montana state Greg Gianforte ratified the ban into law on 17th May 2023 and will become effective from 1st January 2024. Meanwhile, TikTok said that this ban is an infringement of the rights.
1. Previous Problems with TikTok
TikTok has been in the headlines recently, but not for good reasons. It is not just the USA where TikTok is being examined and questioned for the intention of verification; it is happening in every other country.
The reason for being scrutinized is data theft. Since TikTok is a Chinese company, it ultimately means that the data is or can be controlled and used by the Chinese government for their own geopolitical and economic interests.
Mr. Gianforte used this same concern to ban TikTok from Montana since it was used widely by the people in Montana.
In March, TikTok chief executive officer Shou Zi Chew was questioned intensively by the congressional committee over the question of whether the Chinese government can access the data of TikTok users and if it is controlling the content for people to see.
To these questions, CEO Shou Zi Chew reportedly said that his company would never spy on its users. He also admitted that the employees at TikTok used the accounts of journalists to gain information on them.
The US government also told the company to sell TikTok or be ready to face a ban in the country.
After being asked so many times whether TikTok is being controlled by the Chinese government or not, CEO Shou Zi Chew always refused to accept the allegations.
2. TikTok on the Ban
TikTok is more likely to challenge the ban in court, and it also assured its users in Montana.
Mind you, the population is around 1 million in Montana. So yes, if the ban becomes a reality, TikTok will lose many of its users in just one go.
3. A Look at Montana’s TikTok Ban
The bill to ban TikTok from personal devices was passed with a vote of 54 to 43. According to the ban, it would be prohibited by law for app stores/ play stores to provide TikTok for download.
If people have already installed the application and are already using it, then the ban will not work there, as they can continue using it.
TikTok ban is not something new, as it was already banned from government devices by legislation passed in December 2022.
US-based companies such as Apple and Google can probably face heavy penalties if they allow TikTok to be downloaded in the state of Montana. It is because the fine is for companies and not for the users who use it.
With this ban, the entire US is murmuring about TikTok, and debates are going on to analyze the usefulness of the ban.
This ban on TikTok by Greg Gianforte will now put the Chinese company under a legal battle, something Republicans were always looking forward to.
What are your views on the banning of TikTok in Montana? Do share with us in the comment box.