Trump signed a ban on TikTok, WeChat

On August 6, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning any transactions with ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the video-sharing app TikTok.
August 07, 2020 | 15:35
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President Trump issued an executive order banning any transactions with ByteDance, the parent company of the billion-user app TikTok. (Source: Dailystar)

US President Donald Trump has issued a pair of executive orders that would ban any US transactions with the Chinese companies that own TikTok and WeChat, saying the US must take “aggressive action” in the interest of national security.

The spread [of apps controlled by the Chinese government] continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” the order reads. “The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security.

Executive orders issued late on Thursday would prohibit “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” with the companies, beginning in 45 days taking effect.

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Earlier, the same day, the US Senate voted to pass a bill prohibiting government employees from downloading the social networking application TikTok to their phones.

According to the legislative process, the above bill will be transferred to the House of Representatives for consideration and approval. Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who sponsored the bill, stated: "TikTok poses a great risk to security and cannot install government equipment".

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Earlier, President Trump set a 45-day deadline for ByteDance to sell TikTok to Microsoft, otherwise the app would be banned in the US in mid-September.

The Chinese media and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly oppose the US's attempt to block Chinese applications.

It’s unclear how the order will affect TikTok’s ability to operate in the short term. Unlike Huawei and ZTE, the company does not require licenses to to operate its network, and nothing in the order seems to require app stores to cease hosting the app. However, it explicitly covers subsidiaries of Bytedance — specifically the US-based TikTok division — and will apply to any and all financial transfers to and from those subsidiaries. As a result, TikTok is likely to seek a stay of the order in court, or be forced to abruptly discontinue services as it takes effect

Meanwhile, in Germany, according to DW media, the country's Ministry of Health is concerned about Tiktok application. To date, the German Ministry of Health is the only government agency uses its own Tiktok account and close to 60,000 followers.

The Ministry spokesman says in EconomicWeekly that they are undergoing a thorough examination to see if they can continue to use Tiktok. Similarly, German Saarland state is also closely monitoring how Tiktok receives criticism of data security and protection.

"This will also have an impact on the additional use of the platform," a State Premier spokesman said. With 3,000 followers, Saarland Premier Tobias Hans is the only Premier of the state to use the Tiktok app.

India banned TikTok and dozens of popular Chinese apps less than two weeks ago, citing security concerns. Earlier this week, US banking giant Wells Fargo ordered its employees who had installed the app on company-owned mobile devices to remove it immediately, while also noting concerns of "privacy and security." Also, Amazon made waves on Friday by ordering employees to remove TikTok from their devices, only to announce hours later that the directive had been sent by mistake.

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