Tuesday, Sep 29
Trump orders TikTok to sell US operations within 90 days

Trump orders TikTok to sell US operations within 90 days

US President insists on Chinese social networking to be sold out, citing national security concerns.
15.08.2020 - 15:35

US President Donald Trump has ordered ByteDance on Friday to divest the US operations of its video-sharing app TikTok within 90 days, the latest effort to ramp up pressure on the Chinese company over concerns about the safety of the personal data it handles.

“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 said in the order.

Trump's latest move comes on top of an executive order he issued last week that would prohibit certain transactions with TikTok unless ByteDance divests it within 45 days. ByteDance is already in talks to sell the North America, Australia and New Zealand operations of TikTok to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

BYTEDANCE UNDER PRESSURE

The new order adds to pressure for ByteDance to divest TikTok, and legally buttresses the US government’s crackdown on the Chinese-owned social media app. It authorizes US officials to inspect TikTok and ByteDance’s books and information systems to ensure the safety of personal data while the sale talks are ongoing.

While TikTok is best known for its anodyne videos of people dancing and going viral among teenagers, US officials have expressed concerns that information on users could be passed on to China’s communist government.

TiKToK IS USED BY 100 MILLION AMERICANS

​ByteDance said on Friday in response to the order that it is used by 100 million Americans “because it is their home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection. We’re committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform for many years to come.”

Trump has said he would support an effort by Microsoft to buy TikTok’s American operations if the US government got a “substantial portion” of the proceeds, but has also said there are other interested potential buyers.