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US lawmakers on Wednesday cited the bold move by India to ban TikTok four years ago as they voted in support of legislation about the Chinese app.

In a major bipartisan move, the House of Representatives passed by 352 to 65 votes the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act co-authored by Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, and Congressman Mike Gallaghe from the Republican party.

The bill, which seeks to control the ownership of foreign apps like TikTok in the US, now heads to the Senate for it to be sent to the White House for the President to sign it into law.

Several lawmakers referred to the decision taken by India in 2020 to ban the app.

In 2020, India banned 59 Chinese-created apps, including TikTok, emphasising their priority to defend India’s national security, said the office of Congressman Greg Murphy in a statement.

Lack of transparency from TikTok executives and their unwillingness to protect user privacy and information have also encouraged neighbouring governments like the European Union and Canada to prohibit the use of the application on government devices.

“TikTok is used by China to target, surveil and manipulate American citizens,” Murphy said.

“The app collects sensitive user data that is shared with the Chinese Communist Party and its intelligence services. Under its current ownership, it presents a grave national security threat,” he said.

House Republicans said the ambitious data collection goals of China and the documented lack of transparency from TikTok and their executives over data and moderation practices has prompted governments, including the US, the European Union, Canada, India and several US States to ban the use of the application on government devices.

The White House said this bill when passed by the Senate would be signed into law by the president. At the same time, it insisted the bill does not ban apps like TikTok.

“We are glad to see this bill move forward. We will look to the Senate to take swift action. As we have said this is something that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said — this bill is important and we welcome the step in — and ongoing efforts to address the threat posed by certain technology services operating in the US that put at risk Americans’ personal information and our broader national security, including through the manipulation by foreign powers of Americans’ views and beliefs,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jeane-Pierre.

“The National Security Advisor was very clear yesterday. Jake Sullivan said ‘Do we want private data that Americans have to be here or in China? Do we want companies to be owned here or in China?’ That was what he said. I want to be also very clear here: This bill would not ban apps like TikTok, period. What it would do is to ensure that ownership, as I just stated, of these apps wouldn’t be in the hands of those who can exploit them or do us harm,” she said.

“So, it’s going to go through a process. We hope the Senate takes action and takes this up very quickly. We have said this before on every legislation that’s worked in — in Congress that we have — we are involved in: We provide technical support. That’s what we did during the House process, and we’re going to certainly do that during the Senate process,” she said.

In a statement, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he voted against legislation that would functionally result in a ban of TikTok, barring a difficult-to-achieve divestiture.

“The legislation gives broad discretion to the Executive Branch with virtually no congressional oversight, a move that would be unprecedented in American history,” he said.

The bill requires TikTok to sever its ties with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to help protect the data of tens of millions of Americans — especially children — and mitigate national security risks posed by the brutal regime.

“This critical legislation is aimed at countering the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to sway public opinion in its favour — especially that of the younger generation — through the use of the social media app TikTok, as well as preventing the collection of data on Americans,” said Congressman Chris Smith, who has chaired nearly 100 congressional hearings on the CCP’s egregious human rights abuses.

House passage of the legislation comes less than a week after Smith pressed TikTok executives for answers on the Chinese-owned company’s recruitment of American minors for its recent all-out lobbying campaign against the bill.