TikTok told employees the company isn’t planning to change its approach to protecting user data even after United States lawmakers passed a bill to ban the app in the country unless its Chinese owner sells it.

“Our strategy remains the same — we continue to believe that the best way to address concerns about national security is with transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems with robust third-party monitoring, vetting and verification,” the company said in a memo to employees that was reviewed by Bloomberg.

TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance Ltd., declined to comment further.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the measure with wide bipartisan support. The vote was the most serious challenge yet to the widely popular short-video app used by 170 million Americans that lawmakers and politicians see as a national security threat. The bill now faces a less certain future in the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has so far declined to endorse it, and members including Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky have come out against it.

In the memo, TikTok reiterated its plans to lobby the Senate not to pass the legislation.

The company is “disappointed” that the House passed the bill, according to the memo. “While we anticipated the outcome, I want to reemphasize that the Committee and the House votes are the beginning (not the end) of a long process,” the memo said. 

TikTok intends to exhaust all legal challenges before it considers any kind of divestiture from its parent company, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg this week.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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Published: 14 Mar 2024, 06:57 AM IST

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