Trump Signs Executive Orders Banning WeChat, TikTok
US President Donald Trump has signed two executive orders that prohibit US residents from doing business with ByteDance, which owns the video-sharing app TikTok, and Tencent, the owner of the messaging app WeChat, which is popular with Australia’s Chinese community.
The ban is effective 45 days from signing (both orders were signed on 6th August in the US).
“To protect our nation, I took action to address the threat posed by one mobile application, TikTok. Further action is needed to address a similar threat posed by another mobile application, WeChat,” Trump said.
Trump also stated that WeChat “automatically captures vast swathers of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information”.
Microsoft is reportedly considering purchasing TikTok’s US operations for US$50 billion, though many analysts have questioned whether the app is worth that much.
Some have speculated that Australia may follow in the US’ footsteps. TikTok is preparing to face an Australian parliamentary committee that may see the app banned locally too.