Trump broad­ens TikTok ban with at­tack on Chi­nese tech

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Michael Cog­ley

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).

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