United States President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order barring transactions with ByteDance Ltd, the parent company of Chinese social media platform TikTok, and WeChat, The Washington Post reported. The order will take effect after 45 days.
The order means that TikTok and WeChat will not be able to appear on Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store in the United States.
“The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” the order said, according to AFP. “The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order...any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd.”
US federal authorities had last month raised concerns that TikTok could be used by Chinese intelligence agencies. On August 1, Trump had said he will ban TikTok in the United States.
On August 5, Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance Ltd said sale to Microsoft was the only way TikTok could prevent itself from being banned in the US. Microsoft had on August 3 said it was in talks with ByteDance to buy parts of TikTok.
The same day, Trump, after changing his mind on banning TikTok, gave Microsoft over a month to acquire it. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said his firm hopes to reach a deal with TikTok by September 15.
Chinese apps were also banned in India in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley clash, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. The deaths of Indian soldiers had sparked calls for the boycott of Chinese goods and business. In June, the Centre banned 59 Chinese apps citing threat to national security and sovereignty. Last week, 47 applications, which were clones of the banned apps, were also blocked. China had called India’s move to ban the mobile apps a violation of World Trade Organization rules.