WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversaries Act that, if enacted, will force the sale of TikTok from ByteDance, which is aligned with the Chinese Communist Party. Congressman Dan Crenshaw voted in favor of this bill and is a co-sponsor of the legislation.  

The bill does not ban TikTok, and it does not infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights. The bipartisan legislation protects Americans and prevents foreign adversaries, such as China, from targeting, surveilling, and manipulating the American people through online applications like TikTok.  

“Data is power, and the Chinese are using TikTok to collect information from millions of Americans to use as cultural and psychological warfare against us,” said Congressman Crenshaw. “We must recognize China’s Marxist view of war and realize TikTok under the ownership of ByteDance is not an innocuous social media platform, it is a weapon being used by Communist China.”

What the Act does: 

  • Promote U.S. National Security: The Act prohibits marketplaces—like app stores and web hosting services—from hosting applications controlled by foreign adversaries of the United States, including the PRC, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. This includes applications like TikTok, which is owned by Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-controlled ByteDance. 
  • Establish a Narrow Framework to Protect Against Future Applications Controlled by Foreign Adversary Covered Companies: The Act allows the President, after notice to the public and to Congress, to require divestment of an application’s foreign adversary-controlled company ownership or otherwise face a prohibition on app stores and access to web hosting services in the United States. The President may exercise this authority only if an application presents a national security threat, has over one million monthly active users, and is under the control of a foreign adversary entity.  
  • Incentivize Divestment From the PRC or TikTok Will Face a Ban: Unless TikTok is divested such that is it no longer controlled by a PRC-based entity that poses a national security risk, the application will be prohibited in the U.S. from app store availability and web hosting services. If TikTok is divested, it will continue to operate in the U.S. If the restrictions are already in effect and TikTok is divested later, the restrictions will be lifted. The President, in coordination with all Executive branch agencies, including the national security and intelligence agencies and CFIUS, decide when a divestment is complete. This is a tailored solution to address the national security threat presented by TikTok’s ownership by a foreign adversary covered company that minimizes impacts on users and provides the opportunity for ByteDance to divest.
  • Empower Users and Small Businesses to Switch Platforms: If an application controlled by a foreign adversary company does not divest, it must provide users with a copy of their data. All users will be able to download their data and content.
  • Protect Individual Users: No enforcement action can be taken against individual users of a banned application. Civil enforcement actions may only be initiated against companies that violate the Act.
  • Only Foreign Adversary Entities Impacted: The Act only applies to covered applications subject to the control of foreign adversaries including the PRC, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. This legislation does not provide any authority related to domestic entities that are not controlled by a foreign adversary.  
  • The bill protects First Amendment rights because it regulates conduct, not content. 


What the Act does not do:

Some vocal opponents of the bill are intentionally spreading inaccuracies. 

  • The bill DOES NOT require a U.S. company to buy TikTok. 
    • It only requires TikTok to divest from ByteDance, which is a foreign adversary-controlled application.  
  • The bill DOES NOT punish individual social media users.
    • No enforcement action can be taken against individual users of an impacted application.
  • The bill DOES NOT violate the First Amendment. 
    • This legislation does not regulate speech. It is focused entirely on foreign adversary control—not the content of speech being shared. This bill only applies to specifically defined social media apps subject to the control of foreign adversaries, as defined by Congress.
  • The bill DOES NOT grant the government broad authorities that could be weaponized against individual Americans or American companies.
  • The bill DOES NOT run afoul of the Constitution’s Bill of Attainder Clause.
  • The bill DOES NOT impact apps that sever ties to foreign adversary-controlled entities. 
    • An app, including TikTok, that severs ties with entities subject to the control of a foreign adversary is allowed to continue operating in the United States, unchanged.