President Trump gives 90 days for ByteDance to divest US operations of TikTok
WASHINGTON (US) – In what is seen as the latest effort to put pressure on Chinese firm ByteDance over concerns about the safety of personal data, President Donald Trump on Friday gave the firm three months time to divest the US operations of its short video-sharing app TikTok.
“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the US,” Trump said in the executive order.
The president’s move accompanies an order issued last week banning certain transactions with the app unless ByteDance divests it within 45 days. The firm is already in talks to sell the app’s operations in North America, Australia and New Zealand to Microsoft.
The new executive order legally fortifies the US government’s crackdown on Chinese social media apps and puts more pressure on ByteDance to divest TikTok. It also gives US officials the power to inspect TikTok and ByteDance’s books and information systems to ensure the safety of personal data.
The app is famous for its short videos showing teenagers singing and dancing, which often go viral, and that account for its popularity among the youth. US officials have expressed concerns that user information could be passed on to China’s communist government.
In response to the order, ByteDance said the app is used by 100 million Americans “because it is their home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection. We’re committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform for many years to come.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field