President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the U.S. transactions with China’s ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, and Tencent, operator of the messenger app WeChat is not sold in 45 days. The Executive orders will go into effect in 45 days, gives a tight timeline for Bytedance to sell its US-based TikTok operations.
The Executive order is based on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702 et seq) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) and section 301 of title 3, United States Code. The huge popular TikTok has been under fire from the U.S. officials and lawmakers over national security concerns on data collection, and privacy and security.
Trump issued this order to ban Tiktok and WeChat under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. This law grants the administration, the supreme power to bar U.S. firms or citizens from doing any trading or conducting financial transactions with the sanctioned parties.
Trump against Tiktok
Signing the order, he repeated his claim that “TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories. This data collection 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.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expanded the program “Clean network” to prevent various Chinese apps and Chinese telecom firms from accessing sensitive data on U.S. citizens and businesses. This week, Trump said he would help the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft Corp if the U.S. government gets a “substantial portion” of the holding.
TikTok has over 100 million users in the U.S. TikTok, and WeChat was among 59 Chinese apps banned in India in June.