President Donald Trump has signed executive orders officially prohibiting US residents from doing business with Chinese owned apps, TikTok and WeChat after 45 days.
The order regarding TikTok prohibits after 45 days “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd.,” the Chinese company that owns the social media platform.
The US president had intimated his intention to ban the Chinese app last week while aboard the Airforce one.
The move puts pressure on the sales talk in progress between Tech Giant Microsoft ad TikTok. Microsoft has reportedly offered to acquire part or all of TikTok’s global operations.
Trump has given a 45-day notice for the ban, effectively giving the app a September 15th deadline to find a buyer, failure to which, the ban will be effected.
The order comes amid insecurity allegations against the popular video making app. TikTok is accused of gathering data and sharing it with the Chinese government.
According to the allegations, TikTok “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users,” such as location data and browsing and search histories, which “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.”
Shortly after issuing the TikTok order, Trump issued a similar order against WeChat, a group messaging app owned by Chinese company, TenCent.
According to the order, WeChat, which allows users to transfer funds to each other, will no longer be able to conduct any financial transactions.
The order states “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. (a.k.a. Téngxùn Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī), Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order.”
National security concerns have rocked Chinese owned global companies following tensions between the US and China. TikTok has said that it remains committed to its large US user base.
“TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it is a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection,” company spokesperson Josh Gartner said in a statement. “TikTok will be here for many years to come.”