President Donald Trump has announced that he will ban the popular TikTok short video app in the United States. Trump claimed he could sign an executive order earlier today, Saturday, August 1.
The US government has expressed concern that the app, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, could be used to collect personal data from Americans.
The app has around 800 million monthly active users, most of whom are in the United States and India. Around 80 million users use the app every month in the United States and the ban would be a major blow to ByteDance.
The decision to ban TikTok comes at a time when tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government are escalating over a number of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s management of the coronavirus outbreak.
It is unclear whether Trump has the authority to ban TikTok, how that ban would apply, and what legal challenges he would face.
TikTok has denied the allegations that it is controlled by or shares data with the Chinese government. Meanwhile, India has already blocked TikTok as well as other Chinese apps. Australia, which has already banned Huawei and telecom equipment maker ZTE, is also considering banning TikTok.