The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has issued an executive order banning any transactions with the Chinese owners of the apps TikTok and WeChat, starting in 45 days.
Trump who issued the order on Thursday said that the TikTok app, owned by ByteDance, may be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, and the US “must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security.”
According to Trump, WeChat, owned by China’s Tencent, “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users” and that this data collection “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information”.
The directive by Trump came as his administration said it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from US digital networks and called the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok and messenger app WeChat “significant threats”.
Trump had earlier threatened to ban TikTok by September 15th, if Microsoft or other US companies do not acquire it.
This came as US authorities raised concerns that the service could be a tool for Chinese intelligence as US officials fear China may be using the popular video-sharing app for nefarious purposes.