US Bans TikTok And WeChat
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, citing India’s recent ban on Chinese social media apps, has signed executive orders that would prevent Tik Tok and WeChat from operating in the US as they threatened America’s national security and economy.
The ban comes into effect in 45 days, Trump said in two separate executive orders signed on Thursday. India was the first country to ban Tik-Tok and WeChat, citing national security concerns.
India has banned as many as 106 Chinese apps, a move welcomed by both the Trump administration and US lawmakers.”The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok protects our national security, “Trump said of his administration.
In his next post he said the country must take “violent measures” against WeChat to protect the security of the American state.
In a communique to the Congress, Trump said the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the country .
Trump noted that these risks have led other countries, including Australia and India, to begin restricting or banning the use of TikTok and WeChat. TikTok which has up to 80 million active monthly users in America has exploded in popularity in recent years, mostly with people under 20.
TikTok, a video-sharing mobile application owned by the Chinese company Byte Dance, automatically captures vast swathes of information from its users, Trump said.
This data collection threatens to allow the ruling Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information – potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage, he alleged.
TikTok also reportedly censors content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive, such as content concerning protests in Hong Kong and China’s treatment of Uyghur’s and other Muslim minorities.
TikTok May Also Be Used For Disinformation Campaigns
TikTok may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, the president said.”To deal with this threat, the order prohibits, beginning 45 days after the date of this order, to the extent permitted under applicable law, any transaction by any per-son, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Byte Dance, Beijing, China, or its subsidiaries, in which any such company has any interest, as identified by the secretary of commerce,”Trump said.
He delegated power to the commerce secretary to take such actions, including adopting appropriate rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by International Emergency Economic Powers Act as may be necessary to implement the order.
The order also directs all department and agencies to take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement the order, Trump said.
In separate executive order, Trump said WeChat, a messaging, social media, and electronic payment application owned by the Chinese company Tencent Holdings,reportedly has over one billion users worldwide, including users in the United States.”Like TikTok, WeChat automatically captures vast swathes of information from its users – threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans ‘personal and proprietary information ,”he said.
WeChat also captures the personal and proprietary information of Chinese nationals visiting the United States, there by allowing the Chinese Communist Party a mechanism for keeping tabs on Chinese citizens who may be enjoying the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives, he alleged.