Trump Escalates His Fight Against TikTok

President orders Chinese company to sell US assets within 90 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2020 6:36 AM CDT
Trump Escalates His Fight Against TikTok
Women wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus chat as they pass by the ByteDance headquarters in Beijing, China, on Aug. 7, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

President Trump on Friday gave the Chinese parent company ot TikTok 90 days to divest itself of American assets, per the AP. Trump’s executive order said there is “credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” Trump last week ordered sweeping but vague bans on dealings with the owners of TikTok and the messaging app WeChat, saying they are a threat to national security, foreign policy, and the economy. It remains unclear what the TikTok orders mean for the app’s 100 million US users, many of them teenagers or young adults who use it to post and watch short-form videos. Trump on Friday also ordered ByteDance to divest itself of "any data obtained or derived" from TikTok users in the US.

Treasury chief Stephen Mnuchin said Trump's action came after a review by the government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which assesses national security threats, notes the New York Times. On Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s earlier TikTok and WeChat orders, telling reporters he was exercising his emergency authority under a 1977 law enabling the president to regulate international commerce to address unusual threats. TikTok has said it spent nearly a year trying to engage in “good faith” with the US government to address these concerns. “What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts," says a company statement.

(More TikTok stories.)

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