Trump bans US transactions with TikTok and WeChat

midian182

Posts: 6,005   +50
Staff member
What just happened? Donald Trump has signed a pair of executive orders that prohibit any US transactions with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, and the WeChat app. The ban, which will begin in 45 days, is an attempt to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.”

President Trump has issued orders that would prohibit “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” with the companies.

“The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” Trump wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

While incredibly popular, short-video-sharing app TikTok has long come under fire over privacy issues. It’s been banned by Joe Biden’s staff, the Navy, Army, departments of State and Homeland Security, and the TSA. A ban on federal employees downloading the app on government-issued devices may soon become law. Additionally, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman called it “fundamentally parasitic” and “spyware.” ByteDance denies the allegations and claims the data of US users is stored in the country, with backups in Singapore.

With over 800 million monthly active users, 30 million of whom are in the US, TikTok saw its userbase surge during the lockdowns. It's now been downloaded more than 2 billion times.

ByteDance now has until September 20 to sell its US operations to Microsoft or another American firm or face a ban. The Windows maker said it would conclude discussions by September 15. TikTok executives value all of the company at more than $50 billion, though Microsoft is looking to acquiring the portions based in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand only.

While the ban against ByteDance covers transactions with the entire company and its subsidiaries, the order against WeChat blocks transactions involving the app and not a broader ban against owner Tencent, according to a US official. A similar prohibition against the Chinese conglomerate could have had far-reaching consequences; it has full ownership of Riot Games and 48 percent ownership of Fortnite maker Epic Games. It also has investments in Tesla, Reddit, and Spotify. Shares in the company fell 9 percent after the order was announced.

WeChat “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information,” Trump said in the order.

The move marks an escalation in US-China tensions, and analysts are now expecting retaliation from Beijing. China already blocks many US tech companies, including Facebook and Google, from operating in the country.

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Damocles

Posts: 36   +32
Another diversionary tactic designed to draw attention away from his despicable and disgusting handling (I use the term loosely) of the Corona virus. The man is a danger to all humanity and should be removed from the presidency forthwith.
 
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zamroni111

Posts: 93   +39
Is it constitutional?
As long military personel, federal employees and officials are not using it, it should be sufficient for security.
 

Zorak

Posts: 46   +13
Haha, what is this? Is this real? I'm sorry, it's just way over my head at this point. Communication supply chain? How the hell does this fellow know anything about that shnazz? He's worried about TikTok? The platform that literally only kids take seriously? Wait, I might be a wee bit too drunk to read or react to this right. I'll wake up in 6h and see if it's still our reality.
 

candle_86

Posts: 514   +382
Good, though not far enough, we need to cut all ties to Chinese companies, any company that has a Chinese stakeholder is a risk, we need to force those stocks to be sold and then give that money to people who have lawsuits in US and European courts agasint China. The rest we turn over to the legitimate Chinese Government in Tiawan.
 
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TheBigFatClown

Posts: 811   +304
Another diversionary tactic designed to draw attention away from his despicable and disgusting handling (I use the term loosely) of the Corona virus. The man is a danger to all humanity and should be removed from the presidency forthwith.
You made insults without examples. Not really helpful. An example of irresponsibily handling the Corona virus would be Kermit the Frog Faucci lying about masks being unnecessary for everyone in the beginning and then waffling 180 degrees and telling everybody they do need masks.
Another example of somebody you could have called out is governor Cuomo in New York who put COVID-19 positive patients in nursing homes which caused many unnecessary deaths.Many democratic governors did the same thing.
 
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Endymio

Posts: 346   +229
Sorry to interject a bit of rationality here, but there are many members of Congress -- on both sides of the aisle -- who, based on briefings they've received from the US intelligence apparatus, believe that these Chinese tech firms represent real security threats. The Chinese government requires said companies to secretly pass on any and all user data at any time, and to implant backdoors and other, security threats on affected devices. I also would point out that the FBI currently has over 2,500 active counterintelligence cases open against China alone.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,281   +605
China bans whatever it pleases on its territory. I do not feel sorry for them. If they wanna make money on western territories, maybe it is time to re evaluate how they treat their own people and their rights.
And I sincerely hope that American companies watching this happen also start treating their customers and their privacy with more respect, showing and example and leading to a better world where people have the right to stay anonymous and respected.