On Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters that he would move soon to block Chinese-owned video application TikTok from USA.
Upon his flight from Florida to Washington, Trump spoke to reporters about Air Force One.
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said, calling the action a “severance.”
“Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that,” Trump hinted.
A spokeswoman for TikTok told Tech News that the platform helped generate jobs in the U.S. and was dedicated to consumer privacy.
“We’ve hired nearly 1,000 people to our US team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the U.S.,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Our $1 billion creator fund supports U.S. creators who are building livelihoods from our platform.
“TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access,” the statement said. “TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
Comments from Trump came as it emerged on Friday that Microsoft held talks with the Chinese owner ByteDance to purchase TikTok’s video sharing mobile app, an approachable individual told TNN. Instead of being brand new, this individual described the talks as being under way for some time.
Trump told reporters he did not support the rumored spinoff deal involving Microsoft purchasing TikTok, according to TechNews.
By leaving the mobile hardware, fitness hardware and e-book markets, a TikTok acquisition could make Microsoft, a major business software provider, more focused on consumer technology which Microsoft has shifted away from somewhat in recent years.
AMY HOOD, Microsoft CFO, said in 2018 that the company’s strategy to buy “network assets” for multiple apps, including LinkedIn, has been consistent in recent years.
In 2017 TikTok was launched by Chinese company ByteDance. After the coronavirus pandemic, the app became more popular and Sensor Tower announced 2 billion downloads in April. Facebook and Snap are among the competitors.
Investors from ByteDance who are seeking to take over TikTok worth $50 billion, Reuters reported earlier this week.
“While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” TikTok said in a statement Friday.
TikTok ‘s rise in the U.S. has caused Trump to review the proposal.
Trump said on Friday that the management was exploring many options for TikTok, including prohibition of the application.
State Secretary Mike Pompeo reported earlier this month that the US is considering barring TikTok and other Chinese Social Media devices, citing concerns about national security. Pompeo added that TikTok was evaluated by the Trump administration in a manner similar to Chinese state funded technology companies Huawei and ZTE, which he described as “Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence.”
The Pentagon halted the selling of phone and cellular from Huawei and ZTE modems in 2018, citing again national security issues, on military bases all over the world.
United States officials have long warned of the economic loss of billions of dollars of revenue, thousands of jobs from Chinese intellectual property theft, threatening national security. Beijing insists that it will not resort to abuse of intellectual property.
Another step in deteriorating relations among Washington and Beijing is a move from the administration of Trump which comes one week after the USA shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston which also led China to shutdown the US consulate in Chengdu.
The Pentagon took concerted steps to prevent the use of Chinese-backed technologies by American service workers and their families.
The Defense Information Systems Agency recommended in December that all Defense Department employees would not use the Chinese-owned social media site, citing a “potential risk associated with the use of TikTok app.”