April 24, 2024

Montana lawmakers passed a bill on Friday banning TikTok from operating in the state amid growing concerns about the app’s suspected ties to the Chinese government.

The bill was passed by the state House in a 5443 vote and now heads to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk. If Gianforte signs it into law, Montana will become the first state to ban the app outright. (Both the federal government and many states, including Montana, have already forbidden the app on government devices.)

The legislation, which would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, prohibits mobile app stores from offering TikTok to users and enacts penalties of $10,000 for each violation and an additional $10,000 fee for each day the violation continues.

Coming as some members of Congress call for a complete nationwide ban on the app, the move by lawmakers in Montana will likely lead to legal challenges and expose the technological difficulties of barring access to the platform, which has 150 million active users in the US.