The US House of Representatives voted to fast-track legislation forcing TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest a stake in the short form video app or face a ban from operating in the country.

A vote in the Senate to pass the legislation, dubbed the “divest-or-ban bill”,  is expected this week and could lead to the first time the US government has passed a law to shut down a social media platform. President Joe Biden has previously stated he will sign the legislation.

Members of the House first voted in favour of the legislation in mid-March, however it was unclear when it would make its way to the Senate and appeared to stall. It has since been fast-tracked after being included in a broader aid package for Ukraine and Israel.

If passed, the legislation will mean ByteDance will have to divest its ownership in TikTok within around a year or face a nationwide ban, extending the period initially proposed by six months.

Michael McCaul, author of the bill and a House representative, said the bill protects Americans from the influence of Chinese propaganda.

“This app is a spy balloon in Americans’ phones,” he added.

US politicians have been on a campaign against TikTok, claiming the app poses national security risks due to its Chinese ownership. The platform has around 170 million US users.

In response to the updated bill, a TikTok spokesperson said the ban bill will “trample the free speech rights” of Americans, devastate 7 million businesses and “shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the US economy annually”.