- President Trump Ban TikTok and the Use of WeChat In U.S
- U.S Government Says That These Highly Popular Apps Can Be a Threat To National Security
American teens’ 60-second daily videos are already over.
In one of President Trump’s surprising moves, he issued an executive order that would officially ban the TikTok app in the U.S.
Trump gave ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, an allowance of 45 days before ceasing their operations in the U.S.
The WeChat app was also ordered by the President to stop their operations before his given time-frame expires.
It also means that after that allowance expires, people living in the U.S are prohibited from transacting in any way on these mobile applications.
They are prohibited from conducting any advertisement and licensing agreements with the companies that operate these apps.
Both of these highly popular mobile applications are operated by Chinese companies. TikTok is owned by ByteDance while WeChat is owned by Tencent.
And these are good starting points for people who might wonder why Trump even bothers to banish these seemingly harmless apps.
What Is The Reason Behind the Executive Order(Ban Tiktok in U.S.)?
One of the major reasons that pushed Trump to release this executive order is because of national security reasons.
Since these two apps, especially TikTok, extracts information from its millions of users, the threat to users’ security is too high.
This is not even an exaggeration as the new power in today’s modern society is information.
To put this immense threat in a sentence: The more information one holds, the more powerful he can be.
Since it’s not a secret that mobile applications extract information from their users, the threat is real that this information can be “weaponized”.
The information extracted by these apps from their users can be potentially used to undermine America’s national security.
So, whoever gains hold of this information can possibly use it for espionage, blackmailing, and God forbid, in terrorism.
TikTok alone has an estimated 100 million users, and the information extracted from these millions of people is an alarming situation.
In WeChat’s case, what bothers the U.S government is not its clout, but the highly valuable information it holds.
Since it’s a messaging, social media, and payment platform rolled into one, the information it can extract from users can be highly sensitive.
That is why the government decided to step in to prevent any worst-case scenario from even brewing on the American soil.
The executive order is also seen as a reflection of China’s “unfriendly” treatment towards U.S tech companies.
For years, U.S tech companies find it hard to thrive in China because of the policies that limit their opportunities to grow.
The Previous Battle With Chinese Companies
The TikTok and WeChat banning was not the first time where the U.S imposed sharp restrictions on Chinese companies.
There was a previous incident where Huawei and ZTE (both Chinese companies) are the ones being grilled by the U.S government.
The United States said that they’d gathered enough evidence proving that these companies are closely connected with the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus.
The case against them was so strong that the U.S government officially declared them as a threat to its national security.
On top of that, the U.S government prohibited their telecommunication companies from using federal funds to purchase equipment from these companies.