Ban To Come Through Emergency Economic Powers or Executive Order
President Trump has announced that he has plans to ban video app TikTok from carrying out operations in the country. “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters.
Sources close to the president reports that he intends to sign a document to order the ban as soon as possible using an emergency economic powers or executive order.
“I will sign the document tomorrow,” said Trump last Friday night, indicating that he intends for the ban to take immediate effect.
TikTok has been on edge following the words of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 7th. Pompeo mentioned that the ban was “something we’re looking at.” He also compared the service to ZTE and Huawei, two Chinese companies earmarked as a threat to national security.
TikTok is a subsidiary of ByteDance, a Beijing-based company. In the last few months, critics have called out its privacy issues as well as ties to the Chinese government.
In response to Trump’s plan, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok US General Manager, thanked its US supporters in a video published on the app. “We’ve heard your outpouring of support,” she said, adding “we’re not planning on going anywhere.” The company intends to bring more than 10,000 jobs into the country in the next two to three years, Pappas said. “We’re here for the long run.”
Reports from the white house suggest that the Trump administration will force the hands of TikTok’s owners to divest it. Such news led to rumors that Microsoft could acquire TikTok’s US operations, news that Trump quickly denied. “[It’s] not the deal that you have heard about, that they are going to buy and sell, and this and that. And Microsoft and another one. We’re not an M&A company,” said Trump.
Restrictions To The Ban
It is still unclear how Trump’s administration will carry out the ban in the US. However, there are several methods on the table. The likely choice will be a network block like China’s Great Firewall, but such actions aren’t allowed in the country. The US law doesn’t allow for such, so it means the White House will not be able to ban TikTok with a network ban immediately.