Trump threatens to ban Chinese TikTok from their U.S. operations
The unfortunate and rising tensions between the United States and China is about to affect TikTok as President Donald Trump has on Friday threatened them with a ban from operating in the U.S. over concerns about the social media platform’s ties with China.
Trump while speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as he returned from Florida late Friday said, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,”.
The U.S. president disclosed that he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to ban the Chinese-owned company from the U.S. as soon as Saturday.
Already there is an ongoing investigation on whether the app’s parent company, Byte Dance, is harvesting the data of millions of American users.
Sometime last year the U.S. Navy asked service members to delete the app from government devices.
It could be recalled that some weeks ago, Trump critics used TikTok to inflate expectations for turnout expected at the president’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was a major embarrassment for the president’s campaign.
Also this threat is coming at a time of extremely frayed U.S. China relations, as the president has engaged in a months-long trade war with the country and has accused its leaders of allowing the coronavirus to spread into a pandemic. Tensions have been raised further by China’s crackdown on pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong.
TikTok has severally denied that it does not send any user-collected data to China.
The company has even made it clear that though it is owned by a Chinese firm the company has said it is run by an American CEO. U.S. officials have raised concerns about the Chinese government tapping into personal data via Americans’ cellphones using such smart phone applications.
On the other hand, the New York Times hss reported that Microsoft is in talks to acquire TikTok.