US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders banning any United States transactions with ByteDance, the parent company of popular app TikTok and Tencent, owner of the WeChat app, starting in 45 days.
The executive order said the US “must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security”.
The TikTok mobile application has reportedly been downloaded over 175 million times in the US and more than a billion times around the world, as per the order.
“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,” it said.
“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 on people for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage,” the order said.
“Like TIkTok WeChat automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information,” it said.
Trump said, “additional steps must be taken to deal with the national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and services supply chain”.
After taking effect, the order will bar “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the US, with ByteDance Ltd” or any company in which it has an interest.