(PresidentialWire.com)- President Donald Trump made the 45-day deadline for the sale of TikTok official on Thursday by signing an executive order that stops American companies from engaging in business with Bytedance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok. It means that unless the app is sold to an American or non-Chinese company within 45 days, then the app will no longer be accessible in the United States and businesses that continue doing business with the Chinese company will face big penalties.
The executive order comes just days after President Trump said he would be taking decisive action against Bytedance and TikTok on the grounds that it presents a national security threat to the United States. TikTok is installed on millions of personal phones in the United States and security officials believe that it is possible the Chinese government is accessing information they shouldn’t – or at least have the ability to access information.
“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search history,” the executive order says. “This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information – potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
Big claims, but all true. If the Chinese government had access to the private and embarrassing information of millions of American citizens, imagine the influence they could have if high-profile individuals were blackmailed?
The executive order also references the censorship enforced by the Chinese Communist Party on the TikTok app. Trump ruled that the app deems “politically sensitive” posts are censored on the app – which they are – and that this isn’t acceptable in the United States.
TikTok denies that data is sent to the Chinese government, but would a communist government allow a business in its country to say something that would give the game away?
In 45 days, American software comp0any Microsoft may have purchased TikTok. It may also be sold to another company. It’s also entirely possible that the sale won’t happen and other apps will take its place. Instagram has already made a play with a new feature called “Reels,” which effectively does the same thing as TikTok.