Joe Biden signs the bill that could ban TikTok in the United States

The company has called the law “unconstitutional.”

JIM WATSON via Getty Images

The bill that will force a sale or ban of TikTok in the United States is now law. President Joe Biden signed a package of foreign aid bills that included the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” one day after the legislation was approved by the Senate.

In a statement, TikTok said it would challenge the law in court, which could delay an eventual sale or ban. “This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court,” the company said. “We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail. The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation. This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans.”

The law gives TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, up to a year to sell the app to a new owner. If the company fails to divest, then TikTok will be banned from US app stores and web hosting services.

Unlike previous attempts to force a sale or ban of the app, the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” had overwhelming bipartisan support and was able to move through Congress with remarkable speed. The original version of the bill, which called for a six-month window to divest, passed the House in March, just days after it was introduced. An updated version, which allows up to 12 months for a divestment, passed over the weekend.

In a video shared on TikTok, CEO Shou Chew called it a “disappointing moment” for the company. “Make no mistake, this is a ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice,” he said. “It's actually ironic because the freedom of expression on TikTok reflects the same American values that make the United States a beacon of freedom.”