President Donald Trump signs executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat from U.S. in 45 days
U.S. President Unveils Massive Bans on U.S. Transactions and Deals with Chinese Owners of WeChat and Video Hosting TikTok, escalating confrontation with Beijing over the future of the global tech industry.
The executive orders will take effect in 45 days. These actions come amid increased efforts to cleanse the American media space of «unreliable» Chinese applications. The country’s authorities named WeChat and TikTok «significant threats to national security».
China said these companies were complying with US laws and regulations and warned that the US would have to be held accountable for its actions..
«US uses state power and national security as an excuse to disrupt foreign business», – Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wang Wenbin at the briefing.
TikTok came to the attention of American lawmakers due to suspicions of collecting personal data of American users and its illegal use. Reuters reported on Sunday that Trump gave Microsoft 45 days to buy a US stake in TikTok’s business..
«We are shocked by the recent order that was issued without any due process of law», – noted in the Bytedance office, adding that the owner of the social network «will use all available remedies to ensure that the rule of law is not violated».
The ban on US deals with Tencent, one of the world’s largest internet companies, heralds a further split in the global internet and the severing of long-standing ties between the US and Chinese tech industries..
«This is a digital rift between the two largest economies», – said James Lewis, technology expert from the Washington-based think tank for strategic and international studies.
Wednesday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expanded the program called «Net network», to prevent various Chinese applications and telecommunications companies from accessing confidential information about US citizens and businesses.
According to Lewis, the new orders Donald Trump consistent with Pompeo’s strategy.
WeChat has been downloaded 19 million times in the United States, a relatively modest result nationwide.. However, in China, the app is widely used as a vehicle to provide services as diverse as games and contactless payments.. It is also a common platform for communication with individuals and businesses outside of China..
American social networks and messengers such as Facebook and WhatsApp are blocked in China. In the Celestial Empire, the Communist Party hinders free access of citizens to the global network, and also regularly monitors the online communication of its citizens.
US concerns about the Chinese tech industry have until recently focused on telecommunications equipment provider Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. However, against the backdrop of strained relations over a number of economic and human rights factors, Washington imposed sanctions against many other Chinese technology companies..
Trump’s order sent Asian stock markets into the red. Tencent shares plunge to 10.1% before making up for some of its losses during the day.
Trump issued orders in accordance with the law «On international emergency economic powers», which provides the administration with the tools to prohibit American businesses and citizens from trading or conducting financial transactions with sanctioned market participants.
Trump said this week that he would support Microsoft’s efforts to buy the US stake in TikTok’s business if the government gets «a significant part» of the transaction amount.