Wednesday 8/5/20

Trump says he is planning on 'banning' social media app TikTok

The China based company insists it does not share user data with Beijing.
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Tampa International Airport. Photo: Tampa Bay Times/dpa.
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Tampa International Airport. Photo: Tampa Bay Times/dpa.

US President Donald Trump said he will ban the social media app TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, as soon as Saturday, according to pool reports.

"As far as TikTok is concerned we're banning them from the United States," Trump was quoted as saying on Friday mere hours after saying that other options remained in play.

The US president said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to ban TikTok in the country.

"Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that," told reporters travelling with him on the Air Force One.

Just hours earlier Trump had said that his administration "may be banning Tiktok," adding it was also considering "a lot of alternatives."

This week, the Trump administration put TikTok - a popular social media app among a younger demographic that specializes in short video formats - under a formal review at the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US (CFIUS).

Beijing-based

The app is owned by the Beijing-based firm ByteDance, and the announcement about the review drew strong remarks from the Chinese government, which accused Washington of discrimination.

The app is the latest wrinkle in worsening tensions between the world's two largest economies, that initially was over trade and limited maritime issues in the South China Sea.

However, it has since evolved into a wider dispute including over Hong Kong and Beijing's treatment of Muslim minorities, and a crackdown on Chinese tech companies.

Washington argues these firms are a national security threat while pushing its allies to take similar measures.

TikTok allows users to create short videos - often with some basic effects and music - which have become increasingly popular. The company insists it does not share user data with Beijing.

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