Trump announces he will ban Chinese-owned TikTok in the US
"As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States."
President Donald Trump has said he plans to ban the TikTok app in the United States through executive authority, following a concerns about data collection on the video-sharing service.
Trump made the comments to reporters while flying home from Florida on Friday night.
While details of what the ban will entail and when it will come into effect are scant, but according to Trump, it's expected that it could happen as early as Saturday (1 August).
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” the president told reporters Friday night.
Asked when it would happen, he said: “Soon, immediately. I mean essentially immediately.”
TikTok is a subsidiary of Beijing-based ByteDance, and has come under scrutiny from US officials in recent months for its privacy practices and potential ties to the Chinese government.
It's unclear how Trump will be able to force a TikTok ban in the US and it's unlikely the White House will be immediately able to block the app with a network ban.
Reports earlier on Friday had suggested the Trump administration was weighing up whether to force ByteDance to divest its stake in TikTok’s US operations which led to speculation that Microsoft was exploring its acquisition.
TikTok issued a statement Friday saying that, “While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”
However, Trump downplayed the idea of a Microsoft take-over on Friday according to BloombergBloomberg.
He said it’s “not the deal that you have been hearing about, that they are going to buy and sell, and this and that. And Microsoft and another one. We’re not an M&A company.”
TikTok has an estimated 65 million to 80 million users in the United States.