TikTok launches legal action against Trump over ban


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President Donald Trump is increasingly hostile to China

Chinese video app TikTok is taking legal action to challenge a ban imposed by US President Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump’s executive order bans transactions with TikTok owner ByteDance from mid-September.

Officials in Washington fear the company could pass data on U.S. users to the Chinese government, which ByteDance has denied doing.

The short video sharing app has 80 million active users in the United States.

TikTok says it has tried to engage with Mr. Trump’s administration for nearly a year but has encountered a lack of due process and an administration that “pays no attention to the facts.”

“To ensure that the rule of law is not sidelined and that our business and its users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the decree through the court system,” said a spokesperson. word of the company.

TikTok expects legal action to begin this week, said Vivienne Nunis, a reporter for BBC Business.

On Friday, a group of Chinese Americans filed a separate complaint against the president’s similar ban on the social media app WeChat, which is owned by Chinese company Tencent.

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Media legendWATCH: What’s going on with TikTok?

TikTok users post short video clips to the platform on topics ranging from dance routines to international politics. Its popularity has exploded in recent months especially with teenagers and it has been downloaded over a billion times around the world.

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But Mr Trump says China is able to use the app to track the locations of federal employees, collect information to be used in blackmail, or spy on companies.

The growth of mobile applications developed and owned by Chinese companies “threatens the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” Mr. Trump said.

“This collection of data threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party to access the personal and proprietary information of Americans,” he said in his decree.

TikTok claims to have never turned over any US data users to Chinese authorities.

Mr. Trump’s actions against TikTok and WeChat are the latest in a growing campaign against China ahead of the US presidential election in November.

Since taking office, he has been waging a trade war against China.

The United States is not the only country to introduce blocks on TikTok. India has banned use of the app and Australia is also considering taking action.

WeChat is very popular with users who have connections in China, where major social media platforms – such as WhatsApp and Facebook – are blocked.

It’s also seen as a key instrument in China’s internal surveillance apparatus – forcing local users who have been accused of spreading malicious rumors to take a facial scan and a voiceprint.

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