President Trump Plans on Banning TikTok in the U.S. as Early as Saturday
On Friday night, President Trump said that he will ban the popular video app TikTok from operating in the United States while aboard Air Force One.
The viral Chinese-owned app has raised many national security concerns across the globe in places like India and the United States.
In an interview with reporters, Trump stated:
"As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States. I have the authority... it's going to be signed tomorrow."
It was originally reported that the President said he could use an executive order or emergency economic powers to outlaw the media application. The administration also stated that it was prepared to order TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to divest from either its ownership or itself from the Chinese government. There is even a possibility of the company being forced to sell the app to Microsoft if it is not outright banned.
This situation follows several other incidents that have exasperated tensions between the U.S. and China, among them the forced closure of the PRC's Houston consulate after intelligence suggested espionage activity taking place on the premise by Chinese diplomatic personnel. These diplomatic controversies are in addition to the question of Hong Kong's autonomy, ongoing trade barriers and the continuing spread of COVID-19.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs passed a bill to ban TikTok from government-issued devices; a step already taken by the Pentagon and the U.S. Military.
Addressing the ongoing controversy, TikTok responded in a statement by assuring the viability of their app and safety of their users’ data.
While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.
The app has, of course, continued to deny giving any data from the app to the Chinese government.
Caiden Anderson is an Opinion Contributor for The National Times.