US President Donald Trump has unveiled sweeping bans on U.S. transactions with China’s ByteDance, owner of video-sharing app TikTok, and Tencent, operator of the messenger app WeChat, in a major escalation of tensions with Beijing.
The president issued the executive orders, which go into effect in 45 days, come after the administration said this week it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks and called TikTok and WeChat “significant threats.”
The hugely popular Tiktok has come under fire from U.S. lawmakers and the administration over national security concerns surrounding data collection, amid growing distrust between Washington and Beijing.
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expanded efforts on a program dubbed “Clean Network” to prevent various Chinese apps as well as Chinese telecoms firms from accessing sensitive information on U.S. citizens and businesses. So far, the Spanish government has not mentioned any security issues it has with Tik Tok, although this may change after the American ban comes into force.
If you’re not yet familiar with TikTok, it’s an application that specialises in short videos in vertical format, 100% mobile usability and in Spain alone has more than 3 million active users per month.