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How A TikTok Ban Would Play Out

You may only know TikTok as the massively popular social video app for phone-obsessed teens, but lately the app has been caught in the political fray. On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives approved a bipartisan bill that, should it become law, would require TikTok’s parent company, the Chinese firm ByteDance, to sell the app or else see it banned on devices in the US. Lawmakers in the US have expressed concerns that data from American TikTok users is being shared with a Chinese company, and that therefore TikTok poses a threat to national security.

This week on Gadget Lab, we’re joined by WIRED’s senior politics writer Makena Kelly to talk about those security concerns, what this bill means for the rest of the tech industry, and what could happen if TikTok is actually banned.

Show Notes

Read Makena on the bill that would ban TikTok, and read Vittoria Elliott’s update on Wednesday’s vote. We also have instructions to get your videos off TikTok. Read all of WIRED’s TikTok coverage.


Makena recommends going to the office. (Really.) Mike recommends Ener-C powdered vitamin drink mix. Lauren reiterates Kate Knibbs’ earlier recommendation of American Fiction, the film that just won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

Makena Kelly can be found on social media @kellymakena. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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