US effectively bans TikTok in new executive order
TikTok and WeChat will be banned in 45 days if they are not sold. Donald Trump signed an executive order which bans any deals with ByteDance after September 20. Microsoft is currently in pursuit of buying American TikTok business.
The president of the US Donald Trump signed an executive order, barring the US companies from doing business with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance after September 20. The White House insists the Chinese company is a threat to national security
“The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by one mobile application in particular, TikTok,” said Donald Trump.
It is stated in the executive order that TikTok reportedly censors content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive, such as content concerning protests in Hong Kong and China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. The order further states that TikTok “may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party.”
Therefore, Donald Trump has banned doing business with TikTok beginning 45 days after the date of this order, if it is still owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
The White House has issued an identical order aimed at WeChat and its parent company Tencent.
Less than a week ago, Microsoft announced it is prepared to complete the discussions with ByteDance no later than September 15, 2020.
“The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets,” Microsoft stated in the press release earlier this week.
India banned TikTok in June along with 58 other mobile Chinese apps over the concerns that these apps are secretly collecting information from people’s phones.
TikTok is prepared to sue
TikTok has threatened to sue the Trump administration over the new executive order.
“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 US courts,” the company said in a statement.
It insists that the recent executive order was issued without any due process, the Trump administration paid no attention to facts.
“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to,” the company said.