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Friday, October 23, 2020

Trump Signs Executive Order To Ban TikTok, WeChat In The US

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After India took a bold step and banned several Chinese apps across the nation, many other countries have followed the route and are considering banning Chinese apps over security concerns. The latest country to take a major step is the US. Donald Trump has signed an executive order according to which American companies will not be allowed to conduct transactions with ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, in 45 days. Now, if TikTok wants to operate in the US, it needs to be sold to an American company, and Microsoft is eyeing the short video maker app.

In the order, TikTok has been accused of capturing a large amount of data from its users, including location data, search history, and browsing data. This collection of a large swathe of data “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.” Trump has issued a similar order for WeChat, a China-based messaging app, banning the transactions with Tencent, the parent company of the app.

The order has mounted the pressure on TikTok and other Chinese apps that could face the brunt of the US’ economic war with China.

Microsoft Eyeing TikTok

Earlier this week, Microsoft issued a statement on the potential purchase of TikTok. It said that the company is exploring the possibilities of the purchase of the TikTok in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. With the latest executive order by the US government, the move seems even more imminent as Microsoft will continue to pursue the negotiations in the coming 45 days.

Meanwhile, amidst the calls for a ban, TikTok has released a statement saying that the app is here to stay. Josh Gartner, the official spokesperson, said, “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.”

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