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HELENA, Mont. – Montana became the first state to completely ban TikTok on Wednesday, as Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill passed by the state’s Legislature last month.

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Gianforte signed Senate Bill 419 into law on Wednesday, KTVH reported. The ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

“To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” Gianforte tweeted.

The legislation drew criticism from Chinese-owned TikTok and free-speech advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union, according to The Wall Street Journal.

An appeal is expected, which could delay the starting date for the ban, the newspaper reported.

“The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” Gianforte said in a statement. “Today, Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The federal government and state agencies in Montana had already banned TikTok on government devices, KTVH reported. Wednesday’s law goes further and prevents app companies like Google and Apple from offering TikTok for downloads in Montana, according to the television station.

If the law survives its legal challenges, the Montana Department of Justice will be able to fine app stores or ByteDance — TikTok’s parent company — $10,000 for each discrete violation and $10,000 for every day that a violation continues, KTVH reported.

The law only affects the distribution of the apps, according to the television station. There are no penalties for TikTok users.

It is unclear how the ban would be enforced or what happens to Montana residents who download the app before the Jan. 1 ban, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The bill’s champions have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalizing this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill’s constitutionality will be decided by the courts,” TikTok tweeted last month.“We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”