U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order blocking all business transactions with Bytedance, the Chinese company behind TikTok. It will take effect in 45 days, starting on September 20. “The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” the president said.
The order emphasizes the danger of using an application supposedly linked to the Asian country’s government: “Data collection (of TikTok) threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party to access Americans’ personal and private information, potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, create personal information files for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage”.
The unprecedented political movement comes after unilateral tensions that have escalated over the past few weeks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo classified the social network as a “national security threat”.
Late last week, Trump threatened a blockade. The only thing that would prevent it is if Bytedance’s assets and operations were to be transferred to a US company. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft announced that it is in talks to acquire TikTok.