Donald Trump has just signed two presidential decrees against TikTok and WeChat: when these decrees come into effect, in 45 days, no American company will have the right to transact with their parent company – respectively ByteDance and Tencent. This forces Microsoft to finalize its takeover of the American activities of TikTok before the end of this period.
Donald Trump just signed two presidential decrees prohibiting American companies from carrying out any transaction around TikTok and WeChat with their parent companies, respectively ByteDance and Tencent. In 45 days, either from September 20, “Any transaction around” WeChat and TikTok with ByteDance or Tencent “Or any of [leurs] subsidiaries by any person, or in connection with any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States ” will be totally prohibited.
TikTok: Microsoft has until September 20 to buy out some of the app’s business
In one of the decrees, Donald Trump explains that “The distribution in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies based in the People’s Republic of China continue to threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States” . He continues on TikTok: ” TikTok automatically captures vast amounts of information about its users, which includes data on the activity of these users on the Internet, network activity, location data and history of searches and visits to websites “.
” This data collection poses a threat that the Chinese Communist Party can access personal and proprietary data on Americans – which would potentially allow China to track the whereabouts of federal and contract workers, build files with personal information for harassment purposes, and engage in industrial espionage. ” Further, the White House also blames the app for applying Chinese censorship in Hong Kong, and when it comes to the Uighur minority.
He also states: “This mobile application can also be used for disinformation campaigns for the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party, such as when TikTok released videos of disputed conspiracy theories about the origins of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The complaints against WeChat are similar. But according to Donald Trump, WeChat “Capture [également] personal and proprietary information on Chinese nationals visiting the United States, which offers the Chinese Communist Party a mechanism to keep an eye on Chinese citizens enjoying a free society for the first time in their lives“.
White House threatens to look into other Chinese apps
It relies for this on this example (with conditional in the text …): “In 21019, a researcher allegedly discovered a Chinese database containing billions of WeChat messages sent by users not only based in China but also in the United States, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia.” These two decrees are issued at the end of weeks of threats from the White House. On Monday, the White House granted Microsoft the right to buy out part of the activities of the TikTok application to offer guarantees on the processing of personal data of Americans.
A decision nevertheless accompanied by an unprecedented ultimatum by its brutality: Monday Donald Trump explained that the buyout could take place before September 15 but not beyond (the decree in fact extends this period by a few days). ByteDance doesn’t really have a choice as the group is growing very quickly in the United States and already has several thousand employees. However, this should also cost Microsoft dearly, which is positioning itself for the takeover – if TikTok is not listed on the stock exchange, its valuation is estimated at between 50 and 100 billion dollars. What to appreciate the urgency caused by this rather short delay.
Also read: TikTok – K-Pop fans emptied Trump rally of activists
If Microsoft does not manage to finalize the takeover of TikTok’s activities in the United States and in certain Western countries (which remains probable at this stage), the decree could serve as a basis to demand the removal of the application from the US Play Store and App Store. In addition, the Senate on Thursday unanimously passed the TikTok ban on US officials’ smartphones. It is expected that more sanctions will be imposed in the coming weeks. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the Trump administration intended to target other Chinese applications.
Source: The Guardian