Trump issues orders banning U.S. transactions with Chinese owners of TikTok, WeChat apps

The orders give the Chinese firms 45 days to arrange a sale or they will lose access to U.S. markets.

Updated: August 6, 2020 - 11:19pm

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President Trump issued executive orders Thursday night prohibiting transactions with the China-based parent companies of the TikTok and WeChat apps if they are not sold in 45 days.

The White House informed Congress of Trump's actions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, thus increasing the pressure on China to sell the two apps quickly after the U.S. raised concerns about their security and possible spying on Americans.

"The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," Trump wrote in his letter to Congress.

The orders would ban U.S. residents or companies from conducting transactions starting Sept. 20 with the Chinese tech firm ByteDance, which owns the TikTok video sharing app, and Tencent Holdings, the owner of WeChat. 

Trump argued the smart phone apps “capture vast swaths of information from its users” and that data collection “allows the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.“

You can read the president's orders here.