Trump Signs Executive Order Banning TikTok

Image source: REUTERS

President Donald J. Trump has on Thursday, signed an executive order to ban every transaction with Chinese owned TikTok, and its parent company, ByteDance.

The executive order, which will take effect in 45 days, prohibits “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd.”

This executive order comes a week after President Trump threatened to ban the short video sharing app, accusing the company of sharing U.S. users’ data with the Chinese government.

According to the order, the president states that

“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”

Expert review says that the ban would mean that the app will be unable to receive advertising from American firms, and would lead to the app’s removal from both Google Play Store, and Apple’s app store.

President Trump had on Monday, given September 15 as the deadline for the company to find an American buyer, or risk getting shutdown in the country.
It has been reported that Microsoft has been in talks with the CEO, Satya Nadella, on the acquisition of TikTok.

Not long after the executive order on Tiktok, another executive order was signed by President Trump. The second executive order places a ban on WeChat.

The executive order places a ban on
any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd.”

WeChat is the Chinese model of WhatsApp, and it allows financial transaction between users of the app.

Tiktok has expressed shock over the executive order. The company said in a statement that:

“This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth.”

Furthermore, the company said that the order

“sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly—if not by the Administration, then by the U.S. courts.”

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, says:
The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses. That’s just a hegemonic practice.”

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