- TikTok will open a data center in Ireland to collect user data
- Trump gives Microsoft 45 days to purchase TikTok
Share07 August 2020 The U.S. president, Donald Trump, pulls tight on Chinese social networks and signs the decree prohibiting TikTok from operating in the United States within 45 days if his Chinese parent company, ByteDance, does not sell it. The super instant messaging app WeChat is also in the crosshairs of the White House, whose property Tencent has already lost more than 6% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
On Monday, Trump said he was open to the possibility of an American group buying TikTok, but before September 15, under penalty of banning the platform on American soil. At the forefront of the negotiation is Microsoft. At the basis of the restrictive decree is the threat "to national security, foreign policy and the United States economy". "TikTok automatically acquires vast amounts of information from its users, including information such as location and stories of visits and searches on the Internet," reads the text.
According to the Trump decree, TikTok data, which has been downloaded 175 million times in the United States and more than a billion times in the world, can potentially be used by China to detect the location of U.S. government employees and contractors, create rows of people to blackmail them and perform corporate espionage. Yesterday, the United States Senate voted to ban the installation of TikTok on federal officials' phones. The bill approved by the Senate controlled by Trump's Republican allies must now pass to the House of Representatives, dominated by the democratic opposition. Trump and other officials say that TikTok can be used by Beijing to spy on its US users, a claim that the platform, which operates outside of China, is constantly refusing. WeChat is instead a messaging, social network and electronic payment application owned by TenCent Holdings and has more than a billion users. "Like TikTok, WeChat automatically captures huge amounts of information about its users, thereby threatening to give the Chinese Communist Party access to personal information from Americans," says the decree.