US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order prohibiting any transaction or business with ByteDance, the Chinese developer of TikTok, after 45 days.
“The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” Trump said in the text of the executive order, which would eliminate the application in the United States if it does not change hands.
The Trump government claims that TikTok poses a threat to U.S. national security and is seeking to force its sale to a U.S. company like Microsoft, which has shown interest in the popular social network.
“The collection of data (from TikTok) threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party to access Americans’ personal and private information, potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, create personal information files for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage,” the order states.
Trump said TikTok creates “real risks” for the United States, so he banned any business with its parent company, a move that could force ByteDance to sell its social network in the next 45 days.
This period goes a little beyond the date of September 15 that Trump marked this week for TikTok to sell its business or leave the United States, where according to the government it has more than 175 million downloads.
“I don’t care if it’s Microsoft or another big company, a secure company, a very American company has to buy it,” Trump said at the White House on Monday.
Microsoft announced this Sunday that it is continuing negotiations with ByteDance for the possible purchase of TikTok in the United States and promised to complete the operation no later than next September.
The Trump government, as well as important Democratic leaders, have insisted that the widespread use of TikTok puts the privacy of American data and national security at risk, since it is exposed through ByteDance to instructions and intervention from the Chinese government.
In addition to TikTok, Trump also banned business or transactions from 45 days with Chinese technology company Tencent for its WeChat application on Thursday for similar reasons.