Trump broadens TikTok ban with attack on Chinese tech
DONALD TRUMP is set to “take action” on Chinese tech companies supposedly supplying data to Beijing, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said yesterday.
The US government has long suggested it may look to ban Chinese platforms such as TikTok over national security concerns.
“President Trump has said ‘enough’ and we’re going to fix it and so he will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr Pompeo told Fox News.
The vow comes after Mr Trump said he would issue an order banning TikTok in America.
US officials have repeatedly warned that TikTok’s owner ByteDance could be compelled to hand over personal data on American citizens to the Chinese government. In response, ByteDance
said that it was willing to sell the US operations of TikTok and that talks with Microsoft were progressing.
However, it was reported over the weekend that the discussions with Microsoft had since been paused following the president’s comments.
Buying TikTok would represent an aggressive push into the social media market for Microsoft, which already owns professional network LinkedIn. It would also put the company in direct competition with Facebook, which is said to be building its own competitor to TikTok called Instagram Reels.
TikTok has surged in popularity since it was founded six years ago and now has an estimated 500m active users worldwide with about one fifth of the total in the US.
ByteDance has since pledged to add an extra 10,000 jobs in the US over the next three years.
Estimates have suggested that a deal for TikTok’s US business could be worth up to $30bn (£23bn).