Donald Trump signs executive order to ban TikTok, WeChat
Washington : The United States President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order banning all kind of transactions with TikTok and WeChat, terming them a threat to the national security and economy. The ban comes to effect in 45 days.
He said that the Chinese applications spread across the United States poses severe threat to national security, foreign policy, and economy. "At this time, the order takes action to address one mobile application in particular, TikTok," Trump said in a statement.
The order recalled how India has also imposed a ban on 108 Chinese applications, including TikTok and WeChat, to ensure safety and sovereignty of the nation.
While announcing the ban, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology asserted that they (the Chinese apps) were 'stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.'
India was the first country in the world to ban TikTok and WeChat.
"TikTok, a video-sharing mobile application owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd, automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users," the US President quipped. "This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information - potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage," Trump alleged.
In a separate executive order, Trump said WeChat, a messaging, social media, and electronic payment application owned by the Chinese company Tencent Holdings Ltd., reportedly has over one billion users worldwide, including users in the United States. "Like TikTok, WeChat automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users - threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information," he said.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is in talks with TikTok to buy its operations in the US.