US President Donal Trump on Thursday signed an executive order barring any transaction with the Chinese company ByteDance that owns the social media platform TikTok starting in 45 days.
Trump had earlier announced his intention to ban TikTok last week but refrained from doing so as talks between Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO to acquire TikTok’s business in the US progressed. Nadella and Trump agreed that the acquisition talks would conclude by September 15.
The new order, which will come to effect 5 days after the deadline is bound to add pressure on the talks in buying the Chinese app’s US operation.
“The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” the order said.
An executive order related to WeChat, owned by China-based tech giant Tencent has also been signed by Trump.
INBOX: @realDonaldTrump has signed an executive order to ban TikTok in 45 days. pic.twitter.com/1zR4HgCPVj
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) August 7, 2020
Trump is concerned that ByteDance could be sharing information about users with the Chinese government and that the app may be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party.
Recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also accused TikTok of collecting personal data of Americans.
Meanwhile, Microsoft in a statement released on Sunday said, “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.
However, TikTok has already stressed that the user data of the US is stored on US-based servers and backed up in Singapore, by which it is not subject to Chinese laws and therefore, has also denied allegations against them.
TikTok has 100 million users in the US and is popular with teenagers and young adults.