President Donald Trump said on Friday he would ban the fast-growing US TikTok social media app as American authorities have raised fears that the service could be a tool for Chinese intelligence. In recent weeks, US officials and lawmakers have expressed concerns about Beijing’s highly successful video site being used for sinister purposes, but the firm has denied any ties with the Chinese government.
News reports circulated earlier Friday saying that Trump would allow its Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest the US operations of the device, but the president declared a ban.
He said that he would take action as early as Saturday. It is using the economic force of emergency or executive order. Trump’s decision came after a study in the United States by the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS). It reviews transactions that impact U.S. national security. TikTok has an estimated billion users worldwide. Especially popular with young audiences who create and watch its short-form videos.
Last week, the company promised a high degree of openness. Thus, to satisfy customers and regulators, including enabling testing of its algorithms.
The platform ‘s success exploded in 2017 after ByteDance purchased the US-based Musical.ly app. Also, combined it with its own video service. James Lewis, head of the technology policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Thus, said he believes that the security risk of using TikTok is “close to zero”.
But that ByteDance may face pressure from China to engage in censorship.
Lewis said the US authorities had the ability to unwind a previously approved takeover. It is under CFIUS and that a similar move sees in 2019. Thus, with the Grindr dating app after it acquires by a Chinese company.