Trump signs an executive order that places a commercial blockade of TikTok in the United States as of September 20. Bytedance, the company behind the social network will have to find a local buyer before then. Trump bans TikTok and Wechat in USA within 45 days.
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order blocking all commercial transactions with Bytedance, the company of Chinese origin behind TikTok. It will take effect in 45 days, that is, from September 20. “The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” the president said.
The order places special emphasis on the danger posed by using an application allegedly linked to the government of the Asian country: “The collection of data (from TikTok) threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party to access the personal and private information of Americans, which potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, create personal information files for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage “
The unprecedented political movement comes after unilateral tensions that have escalated over the past few weeks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo classified the social network as a “threat to national security.”
At the end of last week Trump threatened a blockade. The only thing that would prevent it is if Bytedance’s assets and operations go to a US company. Shortly after, Microsoft announced that it is in talks to acquire TikTok.
The US government has not offered any evidence to support the accusations towards the social network, towards the alleged leakage of data from Americans to the Chinese government or other reasons for which it represents a danger to the country.
The reality is that the accusations against TikTok began after the boycott that its users organized to sabotage Trump campaign events. One of the ways they did this was by reserving thousands of tickets to one of their rallies, but not attending, leaving part of the stands empty, unleashing the ire of the president. The idea behind Trump bans TikTok and Wechat is still unclear.
The negative effects towards TikTok are not clear at the moment
It is unclear if the executive order will affect TikTok’s short-term operations. There is no mandate for Apple or Google to remove it from their respective app stores.
It’s virtually impossible to approve a purchase of this magnitude in less than 45 days, so it’s unclear whether the executive order will affect TikTok’s short-term operations.
But according to Dan Primack, a journalist for Axios, the executive order requires that Microsoft – or another interested in making the acquisition of the social network – only needs to have the agreement approved to make the purchase within 45 days.
There is no mandate for Apple or Google to remove it from their respective app stores.
WeChat, the other affected app
Trump, in addition to charging against TikTok, has also signed an order to block any transaction with WeChat as of September 20. The courier service belongs to Tencent, the Chinese multinational giant. While it has been speculated that this situation could affect the company’s subsidiaries, among which are Epic Games (Fortnite) or Riot Games (League of Legends), the document specifies that all the actions are directed against WeChat.
The reasons for blocking WeChat are, in fact, practically identical to those for TikTok. From The White House they point out that the application collects a large amount of information from its users, which allows the Chinese Communist Party to access personal data and proprietary information of Americans. As ridiculous as it may seem, they point out that WeChat collects data from Chinese citizens who visit the North American country, this in order for the Asian government to monitor how they “enjoy the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives.”