Trump Orders ByteDance into Divest Interest in U.S. TikTok Operations Within 90 Days

President Donald Trump ordered ByteDance on Friday to divest the US operations of Its Own video-sharing app TikTok within 90 days, the latest Attempt to ramp up pressure in the Chinese company over concerns about the safety of Their personal data it handles.

“There is credible evidence which leads me to think ByteDance… could do something that threatens to impair the national security of the USA,” Trump said in this order.

Trump’s latest move comes together with an executive order that he issued a week that would prohibit certain transactions with TikTok unless ByteDance divests it within 45 days.

The new order adds to pressure for ByteDance to divest TikTok, and legally buttresses that the US government’s crackdown on the Chinese-owned social media app. It authorises US officials to inspect TikTok and ByteDance’s books and information systems to guarantee the safety of personal data while the purchase talks are ongoing.

While TikTok is famous for its anodyne movies of people dancing and going viral among adolescents, US officials also have expressed concerns that advice on users could be passed on to China’s communist government.

ByteDance said on Friday in reaction to the order that it is used by 100 million Americans”since it’s their house for amusement, self-expression, and link. We’re committed to continuing to deliver joy to households and meaningful professions to people who make on our platform for many years to come.”

Trump has said he’d support an effort by Microsoft to purchase TikTok’s American operations when the US authorities got a”substantial part” of the proceeds, however, has also said that there are other interested potential buyers.

Last year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA (CFIUS), a US government panel that reviews deals for possible national security risks, opened a new review of ByteDance’s acquisition of app Musical.ly in 2017. That deal created TikTok in its existing form.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday the arrangement also needs ByteDance to divest”any data obtained or derived from TikTok or even Musical.ly users from the USA.”

He explained CFIUS”conducted a thorough review of the case and recommended this action to the president so as to protect US users from exploitation of the personal information.”

The Trump government has stepped up its attempts to purge what it deems”untrusted” Chinese programs from US electronic networks.

Asked on Friday when he was worried the sweeping ban on WeChat could prevent Apple from selling iPhones at China, Trump did not state worry.

“I do what is good in terms of the security of our country,” he told reporters.

A group of leading US firms, such as Apple, increased concerns this week about the possible negative implications on US companies from the TikTok and WeChat orders.

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