Donald Trump vows to ban Chinese-owned app TikTok in the United States ‘as soon as today’
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Donald Trump vowed to ban social media platform TikTok and said he would take action as soon as Saturday.
The US president has expressed national security and censorship concerns over the popular Chinese-owned video app.
He told reporters on Air Force One on Friday as he returned from Florida: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.”
Mr Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority” before adding: “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”
The app is popular with people around the world (AFP via Getty Images)
Reports by Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources said the administration could soon announce a decision ordering ByteDance to divest its ownership in TikTok.
There have been reports of US tech giants and financial firms being interested in buying or investing in TikTok as the Trump administration sets its sights on the app.
The president spoke to reporters on Air Force One, returning from Florida (AFP via Getty Images)
The New York Times and Fox Business, citing an unidentified source, reported Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok. Microsoft declined to comment.
TikTok issued a statement Friday saying that, “While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”
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ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017, then bought Musical.ly, a video service popular with teens in the US and Europe, and combined the two. A twin service, Douyin, is available for Chinese users.
TikTok’s fun, goofy videos and ease of use has made it immensely popular, and US tech giants like Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat.
But its Chinese ownership has raised concerns about the censorship of videos, including those critical of the Chinese government, and the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials.
Air Force One