U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to take action as soon as today to ban TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video app that has been a source of national security and censorship concerns recently.
Trump’s comments came after published reports that the administration is planning to order China’s ByteDance to sell TikTok. There were also reports circulating the media on Friday that software giant Microsoft is in talks to buy the app.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said.
The company’s operations in the U.S. have been under review by the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.” He added, “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo already hinted that the Trump administration was considering restricting access to TikTok on U.S. soil given the possibility that Beijing is using the social network as a means to monitor and distribute propaganda.
In an event organized by The Hill newspaper, Pompeo explained that the Administration was considering imposing sanctions and assured that “shortly” they would communicate to the public “the series of decisions” that have been made.
TikTok is a social network developed by ByteDance, based in Beijing, in which short videos are shared and which has achieved great success among the teenage public, but at the same time has raised great doubts about the security of the data of users and their links with the Chinese Communist Party.
The tension between the US and China has increased dramatically in recent months fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, for which the two countries blame each other.