Daily Management Review

China’s TikTok And WeChat Banned In US By Trump


China’s TikTok And WeChat Banned In US By Trump
United States President Donald Trump finally pulled the trigger on the Chinese video sharing app TikTok, banning all American companies from transacting with the app’s owning company China’s ByteDance. Trump also imposed sweeping bans on Tencent the owner and operator of messenger app WeChat
This is being seen as a major escalation of tensions between the US and China. 
The executive order signed on Thursday by Trump is set to take effect in 45 days. E3arlier this week the Trump administration said that it would be ramping up measures against “untrusted” Chinese apps and to put them out of US digital networks. TikTok and WeChat were also referred to “significant threats”.
With an environment of growing distrust between the US and China, US lawmakers and the administration had raised serious concerns over TikTok being a national security threat because of the manner in which its parent company handled personal data of it users.
A program called “Clean Network”, designed to stop a number of Chinese apps as well as Chinese telecoms companies from getting access to sensitive information on US citizens and businesses was expanded by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday.
The executive orders appeared to be coordinated with Pompeo’s announcement, said James Lewis, a technology expert with Washington-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
“On TikTok, Trump is clearly putting pressure on Bytedance to close the deal,” he said.
There are more than 100 million users of TikTok in the US. And even though WeChat is not popular in the US, it is present almost everywhere in China and has over a billion users. The chatting platform is also a very popular medium among expat Chinese as it is used extensively by them to communicate with their friends and relatives back in China. The platform is also used a medium for a number of other services such as games and e-commerce.
The Indian government had in June banned 50 Chinese apps, including WeChat and TikTok, over concerns that they threatened the “sovereignty and integrity" of the country.
Operator Tencent is China’s second most-valuable company after Alibaba at a market valuation of $686 billion. It is also China’s biggest video game company and earlier this summer opened a California-based studio.
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act was used by Trump to impose the bans. This act gives sweeping powers to the administration to prevent any US company or citizen from trading or conducting financial transactions with parties under sanctions.
After the orders take effect in mid-September, transactions covered by the prohibition will be identified by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
It was not long ago that the US had ordered China to close down one of its consulate in Houston, Texas. In retaliation, China ordered the closure of the US consulate in the south-western Chinese city of Chengdu.
Earlier in the week, Trump had said that he would be supportive of an acquisition of the US operations of TikTok by Microsoft Corp provided that the a “substantial portion” of the sales price went to the US  government.