President Trump Signs Executive Order to Ban TikTok and WeChat in 45 Days
The war against Chinese tech continues for President Donald Trump, as this evening he signed an executive order to block all U.S. transactions with ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat (via The Verge).
The executive order will start in 45 days on September 20, which is only five days after Microsoft’s deadline to acquire TikTok. The Financial Times reports Microsoft looks to acquire all of TikTok’s worldwide operations, including those in Europe and India.
The executive order reads:
Specifically, the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by one mobile application in particular, TikTok.
As for the executive order signed against WeChat, the verbiage is similar, noting “The United States must take aggressive action against the owner of WeChat to protect our national security.”
Tencent holds various stakes in major gaming companies, such as Riot Games, Supercell, Epic Games, Blizzard, and Ubisoft, to name a few. It’s unclear how this executive order will affect gaming transactions if the ban goes through.
According to The Verge, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed he had spoken to the President on the weekend about acquiring holdings of TikTok, which would include those based in Canada, among other nations.
Aside from TikTok and WeChat, with the latter an immensely popular messaging app in China, the United States is also pursuing banning Huawei from 5G networks, including putting pressure on Canada to follow suit, citing national security concerns and ties to the Chinese Communist Party.