President Donald Trump has announced he’s banning the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok within the US.
He told reporters he could sign an executive order as early as Saturday.
US security officials have expressed concern that the app, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, might be wont to collect the private data of usa citizens .
TikTok has denied accusations that it’s controlled by or shares data with the Chinese government.
The fast-growing app has up to 80 million active monthly users in America and therefore the ban would be a serious blow for ByteDance.
“As far as TikTok cares , we’re banning them from the us ,” Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
It was not immediately clear what authority Mr Trump has got to ban TikTok, how that ban would be enforced and what legal challenges it might face.
Microsoft has reportedly been in talks to shop for the app from ByteDance, but Mr Trump seemed to cast doubt that such a deal would be allowed to travel through. If the deal went ahead reports say it might involve ByteDance shedding TikTok’s US operations.
A TikTok spokesperson declined to discuss Mr Trump’s mooted ban, but told US media outlets the corporate was “confident within the long-term success of TikTok” within the US.
The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and therefore the Chinese government over variety of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
What is TikTok?
The platform has exploded in popularity in recent years, mostly with people under 20.
They use the app to share 15-second videos that always involve lip-synching to songs, comedy routines and weird editing tricks.
These videos are then made available to both followers and strangers. By default, all accounts are public, although users can restrict uploads to an approved list of contacts.
TikTok also allows private messages to be sent but this facility is restricted to “friends”.
The app is reported to possess around 800 million active monthly users, most of whom are within the US and India.
India has already blocked TikTok also as other Chinese apps. Australia, which has already banned Huawei and telecom equipment-maker ZTE, is additionally considering banning TikTok.
Why is that the US concerned about TikTok?
US officials and politicians have raised concerns data collected by ByteDance via TikTok may find yourself being passed to the Chinese government.
TikTok operates an identical but separate version of the app in China, referred to as Douyin. It says all US user data is stored within the US, with a backup in Singapore.
This week, TikTok told users and regulators it might observe a high level of transparency, including allowing reviews of its algorithms.
“We aren’t political, we don’t accept political advertising and haven’t any agenda – our only objective is to stay a vibrant, dynamic platform for everybody to enjoy,” the CEO of TikTok, Kevin Mayer, said during a post in the week .
“TikTok has become the newest target, but we aren’t the enemy.”
Source: bbc news