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  • Icons of Chinese apps WeChat (L) and TikTok (R) on a phone, Beijing, China, August 7, 2020.

    Icons of Chinese apps WeChat (L) and TikTok (R) on a phone, Beijing, China, August 7, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 7 August 2020
Opinion

His decision will take effect in 45 days if the Chinese firm ByteDance does not sell its application to U.S. companies.

President Donald Trump Friday signed an executive order prohibiting its country's firms from engaging in any transactions with ByteDance, the China-based company which owns TikTok.

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Washington's decision will take effect in 45 days if the owners of TikTok do not decide to sell the application to the U.S.

"We will take aggressive action against China in the interest of our national security," Trump said as he sought to pressure the Asian country to hand over the application.

ByteDance will have until September 15 to decide. The U.S.-based company Microsoft said it was interested in buying the application, which is valued in over US$500,000 million.

China's application WeChat will also be banned in the U.S., according to Trump's executive order. To date, that application has been used as a communication channel between friends and family, for commercial transactions, and to make announcements.

Tencent, which owns WeChat and is the second-largest tech company in Asia, has also invested in several U.S. companies such as Tesla, Reddit, and Spotify. 

Trump's decision came a few weeks after India's government announced that about 60 Chinese applications, including Tik Tok and WeChat, would be banned in the country.

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