Now, TikTok is threatening legal action against Trump and his administration over the new order.
Trump cites national security concerns in both of the orders which will take effect in 45 days. The new orders prevent any transactions with WeChat or TikTok by anyone within the United States.
“The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China,” the WeChat order says. “Continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”
As of this week, Donald Trump has given Microsoft and other tech companies 45 days to buy the Chinese-owned TikTok in the U.S. Tencent, the owner of WeChat, has not released a statement regarding the executive order. However, TikTok publicly shared a statement on Friday.
In the statement, TikTok addresses the company’s growing frustrations against Trump and his administration. TikTok claims that the company has spent “nearly a year” trying to ease this conflict with the United States. As a result, TikTok is “shocked” that the executive order was issued “without any due process.”
“For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the U.S. government,” TikTok’s Friday statement says. “In good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts. [They] dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes. And tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”
TikTok further shares that it will pursue all legal actions available to stop this ban in the United States.
“[We] will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly — if not by the Administration, then by the U.S. courts.”
Trump’s executive orders claim that these Chinese-owned companies collect data and “threaten” the United States’ national security.
“Like TikTok, WeChat automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users,” the WeChat order says. “This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information. In addition, the application captures the personal and proprietary information of Chinese nationals visiting the United States.”
We first learned about the Trump administration’s plans to ban TikTok back in July. However, there have been growing concerns over the video-sharing app for years. In 2019, the U.S. military banned its personnel from using the app on government-issued phones and devices.
TikTok has over 65 million active users in the United States alone. As well, it consistently ranks as one of the most downloaded apps on Apple‘s App Store. According to analytics company Sensor Tower, TikTok was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of 2020. That is more quarterly downloads than any other app in history.
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