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Elon Musk says he opposes U.S. ban on TikTok


X owner Elon Musk on Friday voiced his opposition to a proposed U.S. ban on competitor TikTok, citing violation of freedom of speech.

On Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill – by a margin of 360 to 58 – that would force social media app TikTok to divest from its parent company ByteDance or be excluded from the American market, citing national security threat. The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote next week. 

Tiktok now has 170 million users in the United States alone. 

"TikTok should not be banned in the USA, even though such a ban may benefit the X platform," Musk said in a post on the social network he acquired in 2022.

"Doing so would be contrary to freedom of speech and expression."

It would also give the U.S. president the authority to designate other applications as a threat to national security if they are controlled by a country considered hostile.

Washington alleged that because ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing, TikTok's American users are at risk for potential "surveillance and censorship" by the Chinese government. Beijing repeatedly slammed such claims, denouncing the move a "suppression" to Chinese enterprises.

TikTok slammed the Bill, saying it would hurt the U.S. economy and undermine free speech.

"It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill," a company spokesman said.

(Cover: File photo of X owner Elon Musk. /CFP)

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