A week ago Trump said that he could ban TikTok, and on Thursday night he issued an executive order to block transactions with its parent company, ByteDance. It is set to take effect in45 days from now, September 15th to be precise, is the deadline Microsoft publicly announced for its negotiations to purchase the company. The US Senate also voted to ban TikTok from government devices.
Trump also issued an executive order pushing the same allegation for WeChat and its parent company Tencent. WeChat allows communication for people within and outside China, and it’s unclear what a ban could mean for users in the US. We’ve have reached out to many other companies affected by the ban and will update the article when more details are available.
These orders will definitely be challenged in court and it’s unclear exactly what ‘transactions’ mean until the Secretary of Commerce explains it, but Tencent has dealt with many countries in the US, including Snapchat. It operates a game like PUBG Mobile, owns Riot Games which makes League of Legends and Valiant.
Tencent Films has also had a hand in producing many movies recently, like Wonder Woman, Top Gun: Maverick, Terminator: Dark Fate, and Venom. The same goes for music, as Tencent has a stake in Spotify after the companies swapped equity in 2018, recently closed a $3.3 billion contract to take an ownership stake in University Music Group, and also owns a share of Warner Music.
In the orders, a justification given to the ban is “national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and services supply chain.” It also claims they could “be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party.” They claim to be concerned about 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 histories.”