The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would force TikTok owner ByteDance to sell the regional operations of the short-form video app.

The bill passed 352-65, with bipartisan support, but still needs to be approved by the Senate - where it is expected to face a tougher vote. President Joe Biden has said that he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee last week voted 50-0 in favor of the bill.

"The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression," TikTok said in a statement before the vote.

Should the bill pass, it would give its Chinese owner just six months to divest operations - although ByteDance would almost certainly fight the sale in court, which could lengthen the process.

After that date, if the US operations have not been transferred, it would be illegal for US companies to provide web hosting for the platform.

TikTok is in the middle of migrating to Oracle Cloud, a deal that itself came out of a previous threat of blocking TikTok leveled by the Trump Administration.

That effort failed when Trump lost re-election but would have seen Oracle team up with Walmart to take a large stake in spinning out 'TikTok Global.' After the forced sale was taken off the table, TikTok still decided to move to Oracle Cloud, hoping that its 'Project Texas' effort to keep data in the US would reassure politicians.

Since his previous efforts to ban TikTok, former President Trump has defended TikTok and said that it should not be banned. His comments came soon after meeting billionaire GOP donor Jeff Yass, a major TikTok investor.

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