Trump Administration Considers Global TikTok App Store Ban

A new document outlining the potential scope of President Trump's TikTok ban suggests Apple could be forced to remove the short-form video sharing platform from its App Store in China.

tiktok logo
Trump last week signed an executive order that would officially ban any U.S. transactions with TikTok if its Chinese parent ByteDance does not reach a deal to divest it to a U.S. company in 45 days.

According to a White House document sent out to supporters and seen by Reuters, the ban aims to cut off U.S. business transactions, disrupt TikTok's funding, and eliminate its ability to operate within the United States.

"Prohibited transactions may include, for example, agreements to make the TikTok app available on app stores ... purchasing advertising on TikTok, and accepting terms of service to download the TikTok app onto a user device," the document states.

The document is believed to have been written the same week as two executive orders signed by Trump that target Chinese businesses, one of which is Tencent, the owner of the massively popular WeChat platform.

The document does not explicitly mention WeChat, but if the Trump administration decides to subject it to the same measures, the consequences for Apple could be huge.

WeChat is heavily relied upon in China as a messaging platform, as an interface for numerous other apps, and to make mobile transactions. WeChat is also widely used around the world and has over 1.2 billion monthly active users.

In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it was forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

TikTok could avoid a ban if it agrees sell off its U.S. operations to an American company. Microsoft has publicly confirmed its intention to purchase TikTok in the United States and is currently in discussions with ByteDance. Twitter has also reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the service.

TikTok earlier this week said it intends to sue the Trump administration to keep operating in the US, and claimed the executive order is "based on pure speculation and conjecture."

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: China, TikTok

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Top Rated Comments

johannnn Avatar
49 months ago
Global ban?? I’m fine with US electing a ****** president. But not with him deciding what apps I can and can’t install here in Sweden.
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dschulian Avatar
49 months ago
Did I miss something or is Trump now the leader of the world?

I don't agree with any censorship. Doesn't matter if it's Winnie Pooh or Angry Orange.

Facebook is spying on Europeans for years now without any consequences. Oh right, USA are "the good ones", while every other state that is not controlled by US is considered "the bad ones".
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elie.fares Avatar
49 months ago

Poor doctors and nurses. What are they going to do now? Dance for Instagram?
They'll just casually save lives and fight off a pandemic that has been so horrendously mismanaged by the federal government that it's ravaging the entire country.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dwalls90 Avatar
49 months ago
The train wreck of Trump’s foreign policy continues.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
canesalato Avatar
49 months ago
and that's why having a single app store as the only way to distribute software on a platform is dangerous.


Global ban?? I’m fine with US electing a ****** president. But not with him deciding what apps I can and can’t install here in Sweden.
This has already happened, for example you cannot install any app from Iran, they are all banned.

PS: to be clear, I am not a TikTok user, nor do I like TikTok, that's not the point.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rp2011 Avatar
49 months ago
Petty and dangerous precedent and President.
His buddies Vladimir and Kim would be proud.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)