President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order barring US companies from doing business with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance in the US. Trump cited “real” risks attached to the app and it is a “National emergency.”
The order, effective in 45 days, is being seen as a major blow to the Chinese tech-firm which gained popularity in the US.
However, the growing preference for TikTok coincided with an increasing rift between the two superpowers over trade and recent coronavirus issue.
The order says, after 45 days the US Commerce Department will be entrusted with the duty to identify transactions that violate the order, NBC News reports.
Trump has earlier said he is mulling to ban the Chinese short video app in the US. At one point the President conditioned the app must be bought by a US company to be able to operate in the US.
Microsoft is processing deals to buy TikTok’s US affairs from the maker ByteDance. Trump has also warned he will ban TikTok if Microsoft’s deal with ByteDance is not fulfilled by September 15th.
Microsoft spokesperson said the company had no comments on the recent executive order.
The Tuesday announcement was followed up by another executive order targeted at Tencent, one of China’s biggest internet companies and the maker of popular Chinese app WeChat – a WhatsApp-like messaging platform.
The US “must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” Trump said announcing the order, the BBC reports.
TikTok has time and again denied allegations that the app is Beijing’s tool, as alleged by Trump. Cybersecurity experts have warned the app might share data with the Communist Party of China, however, there is no concrete evidence for it.
Thursday’s order is not the first time the US government under Trump attacked a Chinese firm. Earlier similar actions were taken on Chinese tech-firms ZTE and Huawei over the security issue.
(Cover image courtesy of ANI via Twitter)