Donald Trump’s never ending “war” on China continues! If you thought that Trump’s threats to ban TikTok in America was just another example of how empty cans make the most noise, you were wrong! The US president has signed a new executive order which will block all transactions with Bytedance, TikTok’s parent corporation.
Yup, sh*t just got real guys. The executive order comes into play on the 20th of September, which gives the millions of American youths on the platform about 45 days to find something else to do with their lives. According to the executive order, the whole point of this is to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.”
It goes on to read that “The spread [of apps controlled by the Chinese government] continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” with the rallying cry being that “The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security.”
The US has been going HARD on anything Chinese related in recent months, as the tensions that originally arose from trade disputes spill over into accusations of spying. The executive order is similar to what Trump did with Huawei and ZTE last year, but the fact that Microsoft is in talks with Bytedance over the possibility of acquiring TikTok in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand does complicate things.
What exactly will happen to the deal remains to be seen but Microsoft has made it known that discussions are still only tentative and that there are no assurances that a deal will even take place, so there’s that.
Whatever it is is, you can be sure that some sort of legal appeal will be made given that Trump is using some pretty far out acts as the authority behind the move. The president cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act as well as the National Emergencies Act, which insinuates that TikTok’s continued operation in the US is a national emergency.
It’s worth noting that TikTok isn’t like Huawei and ZTE in the sense that it doesn’t actually require a licence to operate its network. The order also doesn’t mention anything about requiring app stores to remove the app. It’s more targeted at the subsidiaries of Bytedance and will apply to the financial transfers that happen to and from its subsidiaries.