US congressional committee approves bill to ban TikTok

A US congressional panel has passed a bill that gives President Joe Biden the power to ban the use of the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok.

The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee voted 24 to 16 to approve the bill on Wednesday.

The Republican members of the committee took the initiative in getting the measure passed. Their party controls the House.

Committee chair Michael McCaul stressed that the app poses a security risk. He described it as a "Chinese spy balloon going in your phone."

Democratic members were more cautious. They called for a further review of the bill. They said that the bill is overly broad and could have unintended consequences.

To become law, the bill first needs to be passed by both the full House and the Senate. Then, it needs to be signed by the president.

It is unclear whether that will happen, but a ban on TikTok in the US would likely impact the app's 100 million American users.

There is growing concern in the US that data could be leaked to China via the app.

On Monday, the White House ordered all federal agencies to remove the app from government-issued devices within 30 days.