US President Donald Trump has signed a presidential decree with ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, banning all US financial transactions for 45 days.
According to Trump, the popular video app poses a threat to the national security of the United States as the Chinese government could get all kinds of data from the myriad American TikTok users.
“This data collection threatens the Chinese Communist Party to gain access to the Americans’ personal information,” the decision said. “The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security.”
The ban also applies to WeChat, a social media app from the Chinese technology group Tencent. This app, too, “collects large amounts of information from users,” said the decision.
The American president has targeted TikTok for some time. Last week he threatened to ban the app somewhere in the US if an American company doesn’t buy the app from ByteDance by September 15. The ban on financial transactions would de facto prevent the company from continuing its operations in the US after that date.
The technology giant Microsoft is to negotiate with TikTok about the takeover of the American activities.