Trump pressuring Chinese firm to divest TikTok
US President Donald Trump has announced a decision to ban a Chinese-owned popular video app, Tik Tok, once more escalating the existing tensions between the two countries.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned from his Florida trip.
According to Press TV, Trump said he would use his authority to ban the Chinese app popular among teens which specializes in publishing "fun and short" videos.
"I have that authority. It’s going to be signed tomorrow,” Trump insisted on Friday.
Reports indicate that the Trump administration was pressuring TikTok's mother company, ByteDance, forcing it to hand over Tik Tok's US operations to a US firm, namely, Microsoft company, which is owned by American billionaire Bill Gates.
In the meantime, US armed forces had already banned their employees from installing the highly popular Chinese app on government-issued phones citing security concerns for the ban.
Tik Tok responded to the latest news saying the platform had provided millions of Americans with “entertainment and connection” during the coronavirus pandemic.
The company denied accusations that the Chinese company shared users' information with Beijing.
“TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok's biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users' privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” the spokesperson said.
Despite the vast rumors and speculations, the company said it was confident about the sustainability of its growth.
“[W]e are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” the firm announced in its statement.
The company's hiring of an American former Disney boss has been seen as an indication that the company was distancing itself from Beijing.
Kevin Mayer relocated American data storage to the United States.