President Trump bans TikTok and WeChat from the US, unless companies are sold within 45 days
The move will ramp up pressure in the negotiations between Microsoft and TikTok over a potential acquisition
US President Donald Trump has passed an executive order, stating that Chinese owned social media platforms TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the US, unless they are sold by their Chinese owners within 45 days.
TikTok expressed its shock and anger at the decision in a strongly worded statement on its website.
“We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses,” read the TikTok statement.
President Trump has repeatedly threatened to ban the popular video sharing platform, unless its Chinese parent company, Byte Dance, sells it to an American investor. US computer giant Microsoft is believed to be in advanced talks over the potential acquisition of TikTok. President Trump has also stated that the US Treasury Department should be entitled to a share of the proceeds if a sale goes through.
Last week Microsoft confirmed that it will continue negotiations over a potential move to acquire TikTok.
Microsoft has said that it hopes to conclude discussions over a potential deal by the 15th of September.
“Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.
“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,” the US tech giant said in an online blog post.
The executive order, which will ban TikTok from the US mainland if a sale does not go through, will also apply to Chinese messaging platform WeChat. In addition to messaging services, WeChat also allows users to transfer money and make payments through the app. It is often referred to as the original “super-app” given its wide range of consumer services. WeChat is used extensively throughout mainland China and the ban will present Chinese Americans with difficulties in staying in touch with friends and family in China.