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Montana to become first US state to ban TikTok

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Montana to become first US state to ban TikTok

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The TikTok logo is displayed on a phone screen with the US flag in the background.Image consequentlyurce, Getty Images
By James Clayton and Annabelle LiangBBC News

Montana is set to become the first US state to ban Chinese-owned media giant TikTok from perconsequentlynal devices.

Governor Greg Gianforte signed the ban into law on Wednesday. It is due to take effect on 1 January.

TikTok has come under scrutiny from authorities around the world over concerns that data could be passed to the Chinese government.

The video-sharing platform says the ban "infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana".

Mr Gianforte, a Republican, told lawmakers that a wider ban would further "shared priority to protect Montanans from Chinese Communist Party surveillance."

The western state, which has a population of just over 1m, banned the app on government devices last December.

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TikTok is expected to challenge the legislation in the courts.

The company says that it has 150m American utilizers. Although the platform has expanded, it is still most popular with teenagers and utilizers in their 20s.However, there are concerns across the US political spectrum that TikTok could be a national security risk.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance - a Chinese company.In March, a congressional committee grilled TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew about whether the Chinese government could access utilizer data or influence what Americans see on the app.

Mr Shou repeatedly said that it would never spy on Americans - notwithstanding admitting that employees had utilized the TikTok accounts of journalists to obtain information about them.

The same month, US President Joe Biden told ByteDance that the company faces a potential federal ban if it does not divest its ownership in the app.

TikTok stated during a statement on Wednesday that it was utilized by "hundreds of thousands of people" in Montana.

"We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our utilizers inside and outside of Montana," it concluded.

The penalties apply to companies, but not individual utilizers. Firms that break the law face a penalty of up to $10,000 (£8,012), which would be encompeld by Montana's Decomponentment of Justice.

TikTok's owner ByteDance has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government.

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