TikTok threatens US to counter with legal action

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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TIktok Ban
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Following Donald Trump’s order to stop doing business with the Chinese app within 45 days, TikTok is threatening legal action against the US.

The company said it was “shocked” by the US President’s executive order detailing the ban.

Trump had released a similar order against China’s WeChat triggering a massive escalation in America’s standoff with the Asian country.

Citing national security concerns, Trump has already threatened to ban TikTok in the US. The company is now in negotiations to sell its American business to Microsoft and are scrambling to meet the deadline set by Trump, which is September 15.

Apparently, the US President approved the sale to Microsoft on the condition that the US government receive a “significant portion” of the sale price.

The Trump administration argues that the Chinese government has access to TikTok acquired user information. Further, data collection by TikTok would allow China to track U.S. government employees and collect personal information for intimidation, or conduct corporate spying, he says.

The executive order also states that both apps collect data on Chinese nationals visiting the US, allowing China to “keep tabs” on them.

He states that the content considered to be politically offensive by TikTok includes protests in Hong Kong and China’s persecution of the Uighurs, basically content that shows China in a bad light.

The popular Chinese app denied the allegations and clarified that it has never shared user data with the Chinese government or censored content at its request.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance said it had been trying to engage with the US government “in good faith” for nearly a year.

Earlier, Washington announced recommendations that Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock markets should be delisted unless they gave regulators access to their audited accounts.

The executive orders against the short-video sharing site and the WeChat messaging service are the latest development in an extremely wide campaign against China by the Trump administration since he took office.