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Trump Announces To Ban TikTok By Saturday Via Executive Action

President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters he will act as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States, NBC News reported.

Trump made the comments while chatting with reporters on Air Force One.

What Did Trump Say?

As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said. 

Trump did not specify whether he will act through an executive order, or another method such as a designation, according to NBC News.

“Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments come as it was reported Friday that Microsoft has held talks to buy the TikTok video-sharing mobile app from Chinese owner ByteDance, one person close to the situation told CNBC. This person characterized the talks as having been underway for some time, not brand new. 

Trump told reporters that he firmly rejected the reported spinoff deal involving Microsoft buying TikTok, NBC News reported.


Microsoft Expressed Interest In Acquiring TikTok Recently

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A TikTok acquisition could make Microsoft, a major provider of business software, more concentrated on consumer technology, which Microsoft has moved away from somewhat in recent years, by exiting the smartphone hardware, fitness hardware and e-book markets.

Chinese company ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017. The app has grown more popular during the coronavirus pandemic, with 2 billion downloads in April, according to Sensor Tower. Competitors include Facebook and Snap.

ByteDance investors seeking to take over TikTok have valued it at $50 billion, Reuters reported earlier this week.

US-China Aggravating Relations

The rise of TikTok in the U.S. has prompted the Trump Administration to scrutinize the app.

Microsoft declined to comment on the talks, which were first reported by Fox Business Network.

“While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” TikTok said in a statement Friday.

Trump said earlier on Friday that the administration was looking at various options for what to do with TikTok, including banning the app.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was looking at banning TikTok as well as other Chinese social media apps, citing national security concerns. Pompeo added that the Trump administration was evaluating TikTok akin to Chinese state-backed tech companies Huawei and ZTE, which he has previously described as “Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence.”

U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and threatens national security. Beijing maintains it does not engage in intellectual property theft.

The move by the Trump administration represents another step in the deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing and comes a week after the U.S. closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, prompting China to shutter the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.

The Pentagon has taken concrete steps to discourage U.S. service members and their families from using Chinese-backed tech.

In December, the Defense Information Systems Agency advised that all Department of Defense personnel should not use the Chinese-owned social media platform, citing a “potential risk associated with using the TikTok app.” 

A year earlier, the Pentagon halted sales of Huawei and ZTE mobile phones and modems on military bases around the world again citing national security concerns.

Synopsis

  • President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters he will act as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States.
  • Trump did not specify whether he will act through an executive order, or another method such as a designation, according to NBC News.
  • Trump’s comments come as it was reported Friday that Microsoft has held talks to buy the TikTok video-sharing mobile app from Chinese owner ByteDance.
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Shaheer Ansari

Shaheer is passionate about living a life seeking un-ending knowledge, philomath, as you may think of him. He's a student of Finance and a keen observer of Business and Indian-Political scenario who takes pleasure to pen down his views and opinions on the same. As his guiding mantra to life, ‘Come what may , life goes on’ helps.

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