WASHINGTON, – US President Donald Trump issued an executive order against the parent company of video app TikTok after a week of escalating threats to ban the app in the U.S.
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The order takes effect in 45 days and prohibits any U.S. company or person from transacting with ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company.
Trump has called out TikTok as a national security threat as tensions worsen between his administration and the Chinese government.
“This data collection 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,” according to the order.
On Monday, Trump told reporters at the White House that TikTok would be forced to cease U.S. operations by around Sept. 15 if it wasn’t sold to a U.S. company. He also said that if a sale goes through, part of the proceeds should go to U.S. taxpayers.
“A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the treasury of the United States,” Trump said of the potential TikTok sale. “The United States should be reimbursed or paid because without the United States they don’t have anything.” The president added: “It’s a little bit like the landlord-tenant. Without a lease, the tenant has nothing. So they pay what’s called key money or they pay something.”
Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok and has also identified Sept. 15 as the deadline for talks to conclude.