The U.S. Passes a TikTok Ban

What happens next?

On Apr 24, 2024, the U.S. government signed into law a bipartisan foreign aid package that includes what many are calling a ban on TikTok. As the 4th largest social media platform in the world, over 1 billion people around the world and over 150 million Americans use TikTok. So, what does this new law mean? What does it mean for TikTok? What does it mean for TikTok users? And, what does this mean for Fama customers?

Find out below.

What to Know About the Ban on TikTok

1. The Law Requires TikTok’s Parent Company to Find a New Owner

The law that includes the ban on TikTok doesn’t mean that TikTok would be removed from app stores and web browsers immediately. What it does mean is that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, would be forced to divest themselves from the platform and find a new owner. If that doesn’t happen, then TikTok will be banned in the United States.

2. TikTok is being banned because it’s owned by a Chinese parent company

Social media has a profound impact on society. It’s a place where people can build community, share information, and learn.

What concerns the U.S. government is that, according to Bloomberg, the Chinese government requires all Chinese companies to “share any and all national security-related data with the government upon request.” Because TikTok is owned by Chinese company, ByteDance, the U.S. government is concerned about the Chinese government using the platform to gather intelligence on U.S. citizens and about potential Chinese threats on “critical infrastructure networks” in the U.S.

Technology and Policy expert, Nikhil Pahwa from MediaNama, is quoted in AP News saying, the “Chinese intelligence law and its cybersecurity law can allow Chinese apps to work in the interest of their own security. That creates a situation of distrust and it becomes a national security risk for others.”

3. The U.S. isn’t the first country to ban TikTok

The U.S. isn’t the only government concerned about and taking action to ban or restrict the use of TikTok. In 2020, India banned the platform, and several countries around the world have enacted complete or partial bans on the platform since.

In 2020, TikTok was banned in India after military clashes at the Indian and Chinese border, and in Pakistan for “immoral content.” In 2022, the Taliban banned TikTok in Afghanistan because the platform “was not consistent with Islamic laws.” In 2023, Nepal banned TikTok for “disrupting social harmony” and Somalia banned it for concerns about “terror-related content.

The U.K., the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia have all restricted government employees from using TikTok, especially on government devices, as well.  

4. TikTok will not disappear immediately, and will exist for at least a while

The U.S. law gives the TikTok parent company, ByteDance, 270 days to sell TikTok to another non-Chinese company. This would mean that TikTok remains usable and unaffected until January 2025. The legislation also gives the government the ability to extend the deadline by 90 days if there’s existing progress on the sale.

After that period, if no sale has occurred, then the platform would be removed from U.S. app stores and web access.

That said, the fight may not be over.

5. TikTok plans to take action against the ban

The Financial Times reports that TikTok is not giving up just yet. The company has said they plan to pursue legal action against the government to maintain their operations.

Divestment: The law already provides one course of action for TikTok to remain active in the U.S. – divestment. This means that the parent company could sell the TikTok platform to another company and would still be able to operate.

The second course of action TikTok plans to take, however, is legal action.

Legal Action: TikTok plans to sue the U.S. government. On X, TikTok CEO, Shou Chew, discussed how a ban on TikTok violates the First Amendment rights of Americans and is unconstitutional. Because of this, they plan to pursue legal action.

Legal action like this could take several years. Initiating legal action may put a stay on the app, delaying the ban on the platform in the U.S. for many years.

What Fama Customers Need to Know

Fama is an online candidate screening platform that helps companies ethically and compliantly screen for misconduct like violence, threats, and harassment during the hiring process. The platform is FCRA and EEOC compliant. This means candidate consent is required, it screens only public content, looks only for job-relevant misconduct in our customers’ code of conduct, removes protected-class information to protect candidates, and has a patent-pending profile confirmation process that ensures the right person is being screened. Over 95% of global background screeners use Fama to enhance their capabilities.

In February 2024, Fama announced new TikTok screening features in an effort to reduce misconduct and create safer and more inclusive workplaces. Since the initial talks of a TikTok ban in the U.S., Fama has been monitoring the situation closely and is reassuring customers that we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Fama will continue to screen as usual

Even after legislation has been signed, Fama will continue to screen TikTok as usual. Fama will continue to screen on the platform as long as we are able to do so. At the bare minimum, that means through January 2025. That could also mean longer, if not forever, depending on the outcome of legal cases.  

2. If TikTok is removed from U.S. app stores and web browsers in 2025….

Fama has always been committed to doing the right thing. That’s why we built our platform with a compliance-first approach, it’s why we were awarded for our SOC2 compliance, and it’s why we wouldn’t charge customers for a feature they are not able to use – like if TikTok were to be banned in the U.S.

3. Fama is global – global customers will not be affected

Finally, it’s important to note that Fama is global. We’ve got customers all around the world. For our global customers, we will continue to screen on the platform as we currently do.

The U.S. ban on TikTok has been making waves. We want to assure our customers that no matter what happens, Fama is committed to doing right by them, carrying out our mission to create safe and inclusive workplaces, and making hiring great people easy.

For more information on Fama, contact us at