While our former Prime Minister just posted his first-ever TikTok, United States President Donald Trump on the other hand, issued executive orders on Thursday banning TikTok and WeChat in the US, starting in 45 days.
According to CNBC, the ban is mainly targeted at Chinese tech firms Tencent and ByteDance. Tencent owns Chinese messaging app WeChat, and ByteDance is the Beijing-based parent company of the popular short-video-sharing app TikTok.
The orders come as Trump’s administration said this week it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from US digital networks and called the Chinese-owned app TikTok and messenger app WeChat “significant threats”.
The TikTok app may be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, and the US “must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security”, Trump said in one order.
However, if these two apps were sold to US-based company before the 15 September deadline, there is a chance for it to be unbanned. Because of this, Microsoft is in talks with ByteDance to acquire TikTok’s business in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand within the next three weeks.
Failing to do so, Trump said, would lead him to shut down the app in the country. In an unusual declaration, Trump also said any deal would have to include a “substantial amount of money” coming to the US Treasury.
Meanwhile, TikTok has said it remains committed to its large American user base.
“TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it is a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection. TikTok will be here for many years to come,” the company spokesperson Josh Gartner said in a statement.
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