Starting its offensive against TikTok in the United States, Donald Trump has announced a ban on transactions aimed at China's ByteDance, which is developing the app, in the country. The ban not only affects TikTok, it also extends to WeChat's messaging owner, Tencent, also in China, and is expected to take effect in 45 days.
This continues the US campaign against Chinese tech companies. The president said both of the above services pose a “significant risk,” not only because of the data management of some 100 million U.S. users, but also because the U.S. government says it could be used by China for large-scale misinformation campaigns. WeChat and Tencent were also fired by the government over concerns about the handling of U.S. users' data.
TikTok's situation is thus becoming increasingly precarious. As it turns out, Microsoft is already in active negotiations with ByteDance to acquire the U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand branches of the social media app, and the government has given the Redmond giant 45 days to reach an agreement on September 15th. juice. The deal will be overseen by the CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), which may prevent the acquisition – Microsoft, of course, warns that it is far from certain that an agreement will be reached with the Chinese side.
The ban will take effect on September 20, although it is not yet clear exactly what the fate of the app will be if the agreement between ByteDance and Microsoft is successful. It is possible that the ban will be armed in this case until the service is fully migrated to Microsoft's infrastructure.
Gellert is Technology Editor at Counting News Media and contributor at other major tech publications. Her interests includes testing new gadgets and reading.