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TikTok has threatened legal action against an executive order issued by President Donald Trump on Thursday, which will ban China’s social media app from doing business with US companies.
The app has been at the center of an escalating technology war between the United States and China this year. Washington had already threatened to ban TikTok in the United States over national security concerns.
It is concerned that the application could allow Beijing to spy on US government officials and contractors, collect personal data for “extortion”
TikTok has denied such allegations, and Beijing has opposed executive orders, saying it will protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese business.
“No proper process”
TikTok said he was “shocked” by the order, claiming that there was no proper process or compliance with the law by the Trump administration.
“This executive order risks undermining global business confidence in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and stimulated decades of US economic growth,” TikTok said in a blog post.
“And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. We will continue to use all remedies available to us to ensure that the rule of law is not denied and that our company and our customers are treated fairly – if not by the administration, then by the courts in the United States. “
TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based internet giant Bytedance, was not the only Chinese company targeted by the Trump administration on Thursday. Another executive line focuses on WeChat, Tencent’s popular messaging app, which claims that its data collection could give Beijing access to Americans’ personal information.
The bans on TikTok and WeChat should take effect after 45 days.
Tencent is probably a more significant target than ByteDance, as its WeChat app is used by millions internationally and the company owns or invests in several major US gaming companies, including Riot Games, Epic Games and Activision Blizzard.
It is not yet clear whether the enforcement order could affect other Tencent business transactions.
“We are reviewing the enforcement order to achieve a full understanding,” the company said in a statement to Eunice Joon of CNBC.
TikTok has become a global cultural phenomenon and is especially popular with teenagers and young people who use it to share short-form videos, including everything from lip sync to comedy.
Although owned by China, TikTok has a US CEO and its largest office is based in Los Angeles. ByteDance operates a separate version of the application for China called Douyin.