NEW YORK / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s executive order banning China’s TikTok could prevent US app stores from offering the popular short video app and advertising on the illegal platform, according to a House document. White seen by Reuters.
PHOTO FILES: US flags are seen next to a TikTok logo in this illustrated photo taken on July 16, 2020.
Trump signed an order last week banning transactions with TikTok if her parent ByteDance fails to reach an agreement to move it to 45 days. He did not specify the purpose of the ban, saying only that the U.S. Department of Commerce would determine which transactions would be banned at the end of the 45-day period.
The White House document, sent to supporters last week, provides an insight into the Trump administration’s thinking. She points out that the US government is considering disrupting key aspects of TikTok’s operations and financing, amid concerns about the security of the personal data the application handles.
“Prohibited transactions may include, for example, agreements to make the TikTok app available in app stores … purchase of ads on TikTok and acceptance of the terms of service to download the TikTok app to a user device,” the statement said. document.
A source familiar with the White House document confirmed its authenticity. TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some tech industry experts say they are eliminating TikTok’s ability to be offered to Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) and the owner of Google Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) app stores, which in turn allow it to be downloaded to iPhone and smartphone smartphones, can hurt app growth.
“This kills TikTok in the US,” said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. “If they want to grow, these rules are a big hurdle.”
He added, however, that the US government may not be able to prevent Americans from downloading TikTok from foreign websites.
Apple and Alphabet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Following Trump’s executive order last week, TikTok told advertisers that they would continue to abide by planned advertising campaigns, reimburse anything it could not accomplish, and work with major influencers to migrate to other platforms in case of prohibition. Some advertisers told Reuters they were drawing up contingency plans and considering other applications for their marketing. [nL1N2F91N2]
It is unclear whether Trump’s order will be implemented. Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) has led negotiations to acquire TikTok ‘s North American, Australian and New Zealand operations under the supervision of the Trump administration. A successful deal would stop transactions with the TikTok motto.
The first White House document from Reuters is unclear whether the United States would launch a similar attack on WeChat, China-owned social media app Tencent Holdings Ltd.0700.HK) that Trump also sought to stop in an executive order last week.
TikTok, which has said it is exploring the legal challenges to the Trump order, has 100 million active users in the United States, and is especially popular with teens. She has said that US user data has been securely stored in the United States and Singapore, and that they would not submit this information to the Chinese government.
Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York and Alexandra Alper in Washington, DC; Additional reporting by Echo Wang in New York; Edited by Greg Roumeliotis and Tom Brown