On Friday night, Trump said that he plans to ban TikTok from the United States. This comes after he rejected a potential deal for Microsoft to buy the app from its Chinese owned parent company.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said to reporters. “We may be doing some other things. There’s a couple of options. But a lot of things are happening, so we’ll see what happens. But we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”
Trump said he plans on using emergency economic powers or issuing an executive order to ban the popular app from the U.S. Obviously Trump does not care about the legality of it. He simply stated, “Well, I have that authority.”
Earlier in the day, people in Trump’s administration thought he was going to sign an order to force TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell TikTok’s operations to a company within the U.S. The reason for the sell is over concerns that the Chinese-owned app is a national security risk.
Critics of the video-sharing app claim that the data it collects from users could end up in the hands of the Chinese government. “TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide told CNN Business Saturday.
TikTok currently hosts over 800 million users and was reportedly valued at $50 billion. If Trump actually bans TikTok it could be a major hit to the entertainment industry.