US President Trump Signs Orders To Ban WeChat, Tiktok In 45 Days
He alleged these apps pose threats to national security and the country's economy; parent Chinese companies of these apps need to conclude sale within the period to avoid ban
US President Donald Trump on Thursday signed executive orders to ban popular Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat in the country if they are not sold by the parent Chinese company within 45 days. He alleged that these apps pose a threat to national security and to the country’s economy.
The US orders came 38 days after India imposed a sweeping ban on 59 major Chinese apps, including Tiktok and WeChat, given the emerging privacy threats posed by these apps. Later in July, India banned another 47 China origin apps.
The executive orders come after the Trump administration earlier this week said that it is beefing up its efforts to remove untrusted Chinese apps from US digital networks. Trump said that Chinese origin apps continue to hamper the national security, foreign policy and economy of the country.
US federal authorities had last month raised concerns that TikTok, owned by ByteDance, could be used by Chinese intelligence agencies. Trump said the app which is installed in millions of US phones is capturing information from its users. The president said the short video app was censoring content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive.
“The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order...any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd,” the president added.
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire the TikTok app.
The president issued the order under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which will allow the Trump administration to bar US firms or citizens from trading or conducting financial transactions with sanctioned parties. There are 100 million TikTok users in the US.
The President called out WeChat and alleged that the app, like TikTok, is capturing vast swaths of information from its users. He further claimed that the app gives access to personal and proprietary information of Americans to the ruling party of China.
The orders, however, do not mention if a share of the sale proceeds should go to the US treasury, a demand Trump made earlier.