Michigan Congresswoman Lisa McClain put forward H.R.3057 at the beginning of May, a bill that would require TikTok owner ByteDance to sell its U.S. assets. According to the brief text of the bill, ByteDance would be compelled to “divest itself of certain assets, and to require the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review certain business relationships between ByteDance and United States businesses, and for other purposes.”
McClain, a Republican, is continuing the actions started by former President Donald Trump in 2020 against ByteDance. Trump issued an executive order calling for ByteDance to divest itself of its U.S. holdings in TikTok, but ultimately, ByteDance took the matter to court and prevailed; on Sept. 27, 2020, D.C. District Court Judge Carl Nichols ruled that the administration didn’t have sufficient proof that TikTok posed a national security threat.
Since last year, TikTok’s involvement in the esports industry has gone from a tangential supporter to a full-blown stakeholder; in March Bytedance bought Shanghai-based game publisher Moonton, which makes Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Mobile Legends has a massive market share in Southeast Asia; as of February 2021, the game has been downloaded over 400M times, and 67% of downloads were in Southeast Asia, according to Sensor Tower data.
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