Trump Plans to Ban TikTok From the U.S.

President Trump plans to ban TikTok from the United States, NBC News reports.

tiktok logo

Aboard Air Force One on Friday night, Trump reportedly said "As far as TikTok is concerned we're banning them from the United States." He described the action as a "severance" and said that an executive order enforcing the ban could be signed as soon as today. "I have that authority," he said.

In recent weeks, the White House has increasingly raised concerns over the popular short-form video app due to its ownership by ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese owner. Chinese law can compel any domestic company to hand over all collected user data. TikTok tracks user location information and user metadata, and has aroused concerns about privacy and censorship.

TikTok has repeatedly claimed that it is independent, not subject to Chinese government data requests or under Chinese influence, but on Wednesday a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin, suggested China views TikTok as a domestic company.

A TikTok spokesperson said that its largest investors come from the U.S. and the platform is a job creator committed to the privacy and safety of its 100 million American users.

"We've hired nearly 1,000 people to our US team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the U.S.," the spokesperson said. "Our $1 billion creator fund supports U.S. creators who are building livelihoods from our platform... TikTok U.S. user data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access."

It has been rumored that Microsoft is in talks to acquire the app from ByteDance. Though ByteDance is in talks with a number of companies for a possible sale, Microsoft seems to be the leading candidate. Trump said he does not support a deal between ByteDance and Microsoft. ByteDance is reportedly seeking to retain a small stake in TikTok in any deal. Microsoft and TikTok declined to comment to NBC News about the negotiations.

Earlier this month, Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, said he had been informed the eventual buyer of TikTok "will be a one hundred percent American company." The American Civil Liberties Union said Trump's plan to ban the app was "a danger to free expression."

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Top Rated Comments

lixuelai Avatar
51 months ago
Wish Trump put as much energy into controlling Covid.
Score: 91 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vicviper789 Avatar
51 months ago
Twitter and facebooks next, please
Score: 73 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pangalactic Avatar
51 months ago
Of course it should be banned! Only US companies should be allowed to spy on Americans!
Score: 63 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
51 months ago
I agree with this move, given that TikTok has found to be used in a nefarious way by China.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
quatermass Avatar
51 months ago

The Home of the brave, the Land of the free?
"Land of snap decisions, and short attention spans"
Joni Mitchell
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Admiral Avatar
51 months ago

I think this is not a good move for the industry. Is it legitimate to ban an app based on what it thinks the app could/might do in the future? I would support banning a app if it violates or refuses to obey local laws. US government cannot show any evidence that TikTok violates any US law. This move is purely a political move. To be honest, TikTok is banned because Bytedance is a Chinese company and TikTok is leading in this market. To use national security as the reason is completely BS.
Yes, it is a good move. The President has broad authority under 50 USC § 1702 ('https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/1702') to block financial or economic transactions to protect national security. A Chinese app snaffling up Americans' private communications and personal information poses a potential threat to US national security. We need to be taking a very hard look at Chinese investment and operations in the United States; I work in foreign investment in Asia — let me tell you, they certainly take a hard look at our companies in China, and impose a lot of terrible conditions.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)