FILE - This Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, shows the icon for TikTok in New York. President Donald Trump will order China’s ByteDance to sell its hit video app TikTok because of national-security concerns, according to reports published Friday, July 31, 2020. “We are looking at TikTok," Trump told reporters Friday at the White House. "We may be banning TikTok.” (AP Photo/File) Photo: Ap file
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Trump says he'll act to ban TikTok in U.S. as soon as Saturday

26 Comments
By TALI ARBEL

President Donald Trump said he will take action as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video app that has been a source of national security and censorship concerns.

Trump's comments came after published reports that the administration is planning to order China’s ByteDance to sell TikTok. There were also reports Friday that software giant Microsoft is in talks to buy the app.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters Friday on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.

Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.” He added, "It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”

Reports by Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources said the administration could soon announce a decision ordering ByteDance to divest its ownership in TikTok.

There have been reports of U.S. tech giants and financial firms being interested in buying or investing in TikTok as the Trump administration sets its sights on the app. The New York Times and Fox Business, citing an unidentified source, reported Friday that Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok. Microsoft declined to comment.

TikTok issued a statement Friday saying that, “While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”

ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017, then bought Musical.ly, a video service popular with teens in the U.S. and Europe, and combined the two. A twin service, Douyin, is available for Chinese users.

TikTok's fun, goofy videos and ease of use has made it immensely popular, and U.S. tech giants like Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat. It has said it has tens of millions of U.S. users and hundreds of millions globally.

But its Chinese ownership has raised concerns about the censorship of videos, including those critical of the Chinese government, and the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials.

TikTok maintains it doesn’t censor videos based on topics sensitive to China and it would not give the Chinese government access to U.S. user data even if asked. The company has hired a U.S. CEO, a former top Disney executive, in an attempt to distance itself from its Chinese ownership.

U.S. national-security officials have been reviewing the Musical.ly acquisition in recent months, while U.S. armed forces have banned their employees from installing TikTok on government-issued phones. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the U.S. was considering banning TikTok.

These national-security worries parallel a broader U.S. security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecom providers Huawei and ZTE. The Trump administration has ordered that the U.S. stop funding equipment from those providers in U.S. networks. It has also tried to steer allies away from Huawei because of worries about the Chinese government's access to data, which the company has denied it has.

The Trump administration has stepped in before to block or dissolve deals on national-security concerns, including stopping Singapore's Broadcom from its $117 billion bid for U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm in 2018 in an effort to help retain U.S. leadership in the telecom space. It also told China's Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. to sell off its 2016 purchase of gay dating app Grindr.

Other countries are also taking action against TikTok. India this month banned dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok, citing privacy concerns, amid tensions between the countries.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments

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Good move by President Donald Trump! Shinzo Abe should learn some leadership skills from this guy.

-15 ( +20 / -35 )

Enough of this guy already.

6 ( +24 / -18 )

Another side-show from Trump.

Shouldn't he be working on a plan for Corona instead of ranting on Twitter like a 14 year old girl?

13 ( +29 / -16 )

Good move by President Donald Trump! Shinzo Abe should learn some leadership skills from this guy.

Petty reasoning.But I understand.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Trump needs to be concentrating on COVID19. But that doesn't mean China should be ignored.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Good move, but that isn't the only program. There is a company called Fun Plus that is right from Beijing and has offices in many parts of the free world, as a game company. In fact that is there new way into the US systems. So I doubt this will even put a dent. One thing this online game company and others are all tied to the CCP, so guess where the money paid by players is going and funding. Oh yeah it's in the upper US millions and when changed to Yuan, well its a cash cow.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Meaningless sideshow barking again.

100 years from now trump will be remembered as fondly as Millard Fillmore.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

When you use a Chinese app, you should be ready for your personal data to be shared with the Chinese government.

I think WeChat is even more dangerous than Tiktok, it also needs to be banned.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Good move by President Donald Trump! 

Sure !!.. Supporting an autocratic clown who wants to cut the right to expression of the users of a social network who only think differently???.. LOOOOOOOOL..

This loser magalomaniac is desperate to do anything to help him win elections that are already lost.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Trump is correct in taking on CCP spying. Knock wood that he is not replaced by the corporate puppet Biden.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

This loser magalomaniac is desperate to do anything to help him win elections that are already lost.

Stats please that the election is already finished. I could have sworn the election was in November but I don't have the education background that you have obviously.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Stats please that the election is already finished. I could have sworn the election was in November but I don't have the education background that you have obviously.

it works both ways, many still think Trump will win in a landslide, so I keep hearing, stats please

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Good on him, he takes charge thats

for sure. Get rid of tiktok and anything else from China. Well done again, Trump.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that young people are said to have used Tiktok to spoil Trump's first campaign rally in Tulsa.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Get rid of tiktok and anything else from China. Well done again, Trump.

His blame China obsession and lack of discretion leads to more Asian bias. That sucks, if you care about Asians. As an Asian-American, I say just quit using TikTok, people. Simple is as simple does.

He blames everything on China, hoping he can deflect his own blame for the spread of the coronavirus in the United States of America.

Even so, no he doesn't get rid of the one thing he needs to at least try to, without blaming Wuhan China. In fact, Trump's inactions have led to a huge increase in viral cases in the United States and lots of death. One thing is an origin, the other is allowing it to spread in your own country. He's to blame, not China.

Poorly done, as usual, Trump. You're time is up. tiktok. tiktok.

he takes charge

LOL. Taking charge means taking responsibility. No, Trump does not do that. At all. He blames others, and he hides. He's a coward, there's no way he takes charge in anything meaningful. Gees, the thought is really funny, actually seeing him take responsibility for anything. Pfffft. No way. He's lost the idea of taking charge to the point even Mitch is saying to fellow Republicans, go ahead and avoid Trump association, if you want to try and keep your senate seat. Bail, baby, bail.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

The greatest threat to US intelligence agencies is the erosion of total US dominance over social media platforms and big tech. Teens moving off Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram to some foreign owned platform without backdoor access for US agencies is their nightmare scenario. Any popular foreign upstart will either have to be crushed or bought out by a cooperative US entity.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Is he going to ban Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, most websites and almost all applications that track you and and everything about you, where you go and what you do?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

kentarogaijin

Sure !!.. Supporting an autocratic clown who wants to cut the right to expression of the users of a social network who only think differently???.. LOOOOOOOOL..

World upside down? It is the anti-Trump media and Big Tech that promote censorship on social media.

I am always amazed how political bias make people see a complete different reality.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I am always amazed how political bias make people see a complete different reality.

When has this ever not been true? It’s ramped up to 11 at the moment but the deluded are easy to spot. They usually have red hats on.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Last year, the Guardian reported that TikTok's staff and automated systems had enforced moderation rules that censored material deemed to be politically sensitive. Footage of Tiananmen Square protests and Tibetan independence demands were among the material said to have be banned or restricted.

Further reporting from the Washington Post, which talked to six former TikTok employees, said moderators in China had the final say on whether flagged videos were approved."

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53476117

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that young people are said to have used Tiktok to spoil Trump's first campaign rally in Tulsa.

Haha! Good point. I'm sure Trump wouldn't do such a petty thing though with his level of political maturity.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Trump trying to detract from his total disaster of a COVID19 response, economy an utter wreck!

He is finished...and just trying to draw peoples attention from his terrible failings as a president and a human being.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"Sure !!.. Supporting an autocratic clown who wants to cut the right to expression of the users of a social network who only think differently???.. LOOOOOOOOL.."

Huh, I think you got it backwards, President Trump is the one being blocked and oppressed for reporting what major media wont' do? What are you reading?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good call Mr Trump!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

rgcivilian^1

Huh, I think you got it backwards, President Trump is the one being blocked and oppressed for reporting what major media wont' do? What are you reading?

Yes, fundamentally. Conservative voices are massively suppressed by Big Tech, while anti-Trump propaganda can be spewed at will. If you do not know that, you have not stepped outside your media bubble.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Conservative voices are massively suppressed by Big Tech

This comment in an article about conservatives suppressing Big Tech.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

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