US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders that would ban social media apps; TikTok and WeChat from operating in the United States of America in 45 days if they are not sold by the Chines companies.
“To protect our Nation, I took action to address the threat posed by one mobile application, TikTok. Further action is needed to address a similar threat posed by another mobile application, WeChat,” Trump said in a statement.
In the executive order, President Trump claims that TikTok “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users,” such as location data and browsing and search histories, which “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.”
For the WeChat app, which allows users to transfer money to each other, the order states it will ban financial transactions with Tencent (owned by Tencent, a Chinese based company).
The order states “any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. (a.k.a. Téngxùn Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī), Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order.”
In response to Trump’s executive order, TikTok said in a statement,
“We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,”. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”