United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order which says the US is taking “aggressive action” to stop ByteDance’s “threat” to American national security, hinting that the Chinese ByteDance must divest its most famous app, TikTok, if it wants to keep it operational in the US. The executive order adds that any firm or person doing business with ByteDance in 45 days will become subject to US sanctions.
“TikTok, a video-sharing mobile application owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information – potentially allowing China to track locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers for personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage,” Trump said in a letter to Congress.
Earlier, Trump said that ByteDance must sell TikTok to an American company by mid-September. Microsoft was seen as a potential buyer, but TikTok denied the claims that it was going to be bought by the tech giant.