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TikTok, Trump banned any US entity from doing business with ByteDance

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TikTok

The US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning any US person or company from doing business with the Chinese company ByteDance, which owns the TikTok social network.

In the executive order, Trump argues that TikTok, one of the most popular social networks in the world, is a threat to the United States, due to the close and opaque ties that the ByteDance company has with the Chinese government. And the large amount of data collected by the ‘app on its US users.

The executive order will take effect within 45 days, and will effectively force ByteDance to accelerate the sale of TikTok to Microsoft, which has been talked about for weeks, to avoid penalties if it continues to operate in the United States. In another similar executive order, Trump banned commercial relations and transactions through WeChat, a popular messaging system in China and several Asian countries, owned by the company Tencent, often used to carry out microtransactions. Also, in this case, the order will come into effect within 45 days.

Within a month and a half, the US activities of TikTok will have to be sold by the Chinese company ByteDance to Microsoft: or the app will be banned in the United States, as repeatedly threatened President Trump. The one born around TikTok is a diplomatic clash closely linked to the trade war that has been going on for years between the United States and China. That could have consequences for the future balance of the so-called technology giants.

TikTok, the social network made up of short music or comic videos, claims to have 100 million users in the United States. Here, for at least a couple of years, it has become the social network that grows the most: according to many analysts, its enormous popularity among teenagers has now made it a platform comparable to Facebook and Twitter, in terms of power and influence.

But Chinese companies have notoriously close ties to the government, and that worries a lot of US policy: the sheer amount of data the app collects on its American users, many say including Trump, is not safe and for this, it must remain in the United States.

While some say that a Chinese company may not make a different or more unethical use of user data than companies like Facebook and Google legally do, Trump decided to ban ByteDance in the United States. Initially, he also said to oppose the possibility that Microsoft would buy TikTok, but then retracted by saying that he was in favor of the operation as long as it takes place by 15 September.

He then added that the Treasury Department should receive “a very significant share” of the sale price for making the agreement possible: in short, it asked for a percentage, a practice that had probably never applied before in US politics.

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