President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that gives the Chinese parent company of the video sharing app TikTok 45 days to complete a sale. After this date, any transaction is prohibited and the app is prohibited.
Trump signed the order on Thursday evening titled "Address the TikTok threat." The order blocks any transaction with the TikTok parent ByteDance 45 days after the signature.
With growing security and privacy concerns regarding the app's Chinese ownership, Microsoft has been reported to be in talks to purchase TikTok as part of a fire sale, and Trump's order only increases pressure on ByteDance to close the deal quickly.
Any company that does business with ByteDance within 45 days will be sanctioned, Trump said. If a sale is not completed before September 20, the order would effectively preclude the use of TikTok in the United States.
Scroll down for video
President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that gives the Chinese parent company of the video sharing app TikTok 45 days to complete a sale (stock image).
The executive decree claims that TikTok "can also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party," and specifically cites TikTok videos that "spread exposed conspiracy theories about the origins of the novel 2019 corona virus".
The order says that Tik Tok has been reported to have been downloaded over 175 million times in the United States and over a billion times worldwide.
The order also says: "TikTok has reportedly also censored content that the Chinese Communist Party considers politically sensitive, such as protests in Hong Kong and China's treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities."
"The United States must take aggressive measures against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security," she adds.
Along with the executive ordinance, Trump sent a letter to the House Speaker and the Senate President explaining the move.
The letter said that TikTok "automatically captures huge amounts of information from its users."
"This data collection threatens to give the Chinese Communist Party access to American personal and protected information. China may be able to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, compile dossiers with personal information for extortion, and conduct corporate espionage," she continued.
ByteDance has denied sharing data with the Chinese government, and Chinese state media has rated the US response to TikTok as "insane".
According to a Chinese law introduced in 2017, companies there are obliged to support and cooperate with the country's national intelligence work.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill that would ban federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices.
Any company that does business with TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance within 45 days will be sanctioned, Trump said
"I am encouraged by the bipartisan support we have seen on this body to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable, and that includes … holding companies accountable that would only make China's bids," said Senator Josh Hawley, who sponsored the bill in a statement.
"And if I have anything to say about it, we won't stop here," added the Republican Senator.
Last month, as part of a proposal by Representative Ken Buck, the House of Representatives voted to prevent federal employees from downloading the app on government-released devices.
A final version of the bill combining the versions of the House of Representatives and the Senate would require Trump's approval to become law.
In the meantime, Microsoft has expanded its talks about TikTok to a potential business that would include purchasing the fast growing video sharing app's global activities, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Microsoft declined to comment on the report after it previously announced that it was considering a deal for TikTok activities in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
According to the report, Microsoft has changed its view due to the complexity of the app's layout and its global functionality.
TikTok operates in 150 countries.
Chinese state media accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of "madness" of taking action against Chinese software and technology in the United States
China's state media has shot back in Washington at the crackdown on TikTok. The plan to ban certain technologies of Chinese origin is a sign of the "madness" of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"Pompeo has voiced anti-Chinese statements almost every day and has been pranking to exacerbate US-China conflicts and demonstrate the Trump administration's toughness towards China," the government-sponsored tabloid Global Times wrote in an editorial on Thursday .
The US State Department released an expanded update on Wednesday of a plan called the "Clean Network" that will keep telecommunications companies, cloud service providers, and Chinese-made mobile apps away from the United States.
"From a long-term perspective, it is incredible that the US information industry can completely separate itself from the Chinese market," wrote the Global Times.
"It would be a difficult test for US companies if US chips, software and devices became irrelevant for the Chinese market."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) TikTok (t) Coronavirus (t) Donald Trump (t) Latest News