TikTok users furious after US House passes bill that could ban app

One of the most popular phone apps in the world could soon be banned in the US, where it's considered by some to be a spying tool for the Chinese.

Lawmakers have voted to force TikTok's parent company to sell to an American owner or be shut down.

The move comes amid concern the Chinese government can access users' data.

About 170 million Americans are "watching", "swiping", and "sharing" on the app - while they still can, that is. 

The US Congress could soon be blocking TikTok after the US house on Thursday passed a bill forcing the app's Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell up.

Officials are concerned that American users' data can be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party. 

"Why in the hell would we want, and allow, the Chinese Communist Party to have access to our private data?" a US Congresswoman asked. 

"TikTok needs to decide whether they value their users or their ties to the Chinese Communist Party more," a US Congressman remarked.

The bill would require ByteDance to sell its shares in TikTok, or it could be pulled from Apple and Android platforms.

TikTok has repeatedly denied that Beijing can access Americans' data, saying there is no proof. 

It says it has gone to great lengths to protect US users, but that's falling on deaf ears where it matters most. 

"Today we are going to send a message to the CCP that we are going to deflate the more than 140 million spy balloons that they have installed on American phones," another Congresswoman said.

However, some users are furious.

Outside the Capitol, TikTok is more than just silly dances - it's an income for some and can be used as an educational tool.

One user, a doctor, said he has the power to educate people and maybe even save lives using the app.

As lawmakers debated on Thursday, Tiktokers protested and posted their concerns. 

A ban could still be some time away as the US Senate would still have to vote on it.

But President Joe Biden said if it passes there, he will sign it into law - that's despite being on TikTok, himself.