Donald Trump Signs Order to Ban TikTok Unless It’s Sold to U.S. Company

According to a report from CNN on Aug. 7, Trump issued an executive order that would ban Chinese social media apps including TikTok, a short-form video app, from being used in the U.S. in 45 days if the company isn’t sold to a U.S.-based company.

The order claims TikTok “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users,” including location information, browsing and internet search history, which in turn “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.”

Earlier this week, Trump made Sept. 15 the deadline for TikTok to find a U.S. buyer. This action would nullify the potential ban on its use among American citizens. However, the president says that TikTok’s failure to secure a U.S. buyer within that timeframe would force his hand to shut down the app in the states. He also spoke on a monetary aspect, saying that any deal made with TikTok would have to include the U.S. Treasury receiving a “substantial amount of money.”

The social media app has expressed their shock over the order, which they say was made without any due process. “We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,” TikTok says. “For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government 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, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

Microsoft reportedly stated on Aug. 2 that they are taking action to acquire the app.