United States President Donald Trump on Thursday (7 August) issued executive orders that would ban US operations of TikTok and WeChat in 45 days if they are not sold by their Chinese parent companies.
TikTok, a video-sharing app, is owned by ByteDance while Tencent is the parent company of WeChat, a social messaging platform. Both ByteDance and Tencent are Chinese companies.
The order regarding TikTok prohibits after 45 days "any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd.," reports CNN.
The order said that TikTok "automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users," such as location data and browsing and search histories,
It further stated that the TikTok accessing US citizens' data "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."
The US president also issued a follow-up executive order taking similar action to ban WeChat.
In both executive orders, Trump said that he has found "additional steps must be taken to deal with the national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and services supply chain".
"The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People's Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the US President added.
It should be noted that the executive orders come over a month after India had banned TikTok, WeChat and 57 other Chinese apps from operating in the country over national security concerns.
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