United States President, Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning social media apps, TikTok and WeChat from operating in the US within 45 days.
Trump issued the orders under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a law that grants the administration power to bar US firms or citizens from trading or conducting financial transactions with sanctioned parties.
The move comes as Microsoft negotiates to buy TikTok ahead of the September 15 deadline that Trump has set.
A US official said the 45-day window would “give Microsoft and other interested purchasers time to reach a deal with TikTok’s owners that adequately addresses the national security concerns posed by the app”.
Shortly after issuing the order regarding TikTok, Trump issued a similar order for WeChat, a group chat app owned by Tencent, a Chinese based company.
For WeChat, which allows its users to transfer funds to each other, the order states it will ban financial transactions with Tencent.
The order states “any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. (a.k.a. Téngxùn Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī), Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order.”
TikTok reacted to the order, saying: “We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,
“For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”