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President Trump signs executive orders to ban business with TikTok and WeChat

Will come into effect in 45 days
President Trump signs executive orders to ban business with TikTok and WeChat

US president Donald Trump has signed executive orders to prohibit American companies doing business with TikTok or transactions with Tencent's WeChat.

As reported by Forbes, the orders will come into effect in 45 days. It is worth noting – as confirmed in Trump's statement – that the injunction against Tencent is related to WeChat. However, there is no guarantee that the Chinese firm's games library will not be affected by the decision.

Recently, it was confirmed that American tech giant Microsoft was looking to cut a deal with TikTok, to acquire the social media app in the US. Following meetings with the big M, Trump agreed to allow the acquisition, should it be secured within 45 days. If it is, then the new executive order would become void. However, Tencent's would remain, although this could be challenged in court.

Moreover, Trump has insisted that if Microsoft does acquire TikTok, the US treasury should get a slice of the profits. It's a move that has been condemned by many, with MIT Technology Review reporter Charlotte Jee claiming that "it is kind of almost Mafia-like behaviour - threatening a ban which pushes down the price then saying 'oh we should get a cut of that deal afterwards to say thank you for what we've done there'"

Rocky relationship

It is no secret that relations between the US and China are strained, which is a primary reason for the president wanting to ban TikTok and WeChat as he – and several other high-profile politicians – believe that the app is transmitting private information to the Chinese government.

Talks of removing the ByteDance-owned app from the US market began to swirl in July when the country started an investigation into the social media platform after it was alleged to have breached the privacy of children.