“We’ll see what happens, either they will be closed or they will sell it,” Trump said before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. He argued that there will be “no extension of the TikTok deadline.”
The president’s comments represent just the latest example of his strongman approach to the popular app after he said in July that he would ban it from operating in the United States. Last month he said in an executive order that there is “credible evidence” that ByteDance “may take action that threatens to undermine the national security of the United States.”
The app, however, sued the Trump administration in response to what it called a “highly politicized” executive order.
“We much prefer constructive dialogue to litigation,” TikTok said in a blog post announcing the case. “But with the executive order that threatens to ban our operations in the United States – eliminating the creation of 10,000 American jobs and irreparably harming the millions of Americans who turn to this app for entertainment, connection and a legitimate living , especially during the pandemic. – we just don’t have a choice. ”
The app has exploded in popularity in the United States and other Western countries, becoming the first Chinese social media platform to gain significant traction with users outside of its home country.
It was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of this year, more quarterly downloads than any other app in history, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
Critics of TikTok fear the data it collects on its US users could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, although TikTok has said it stores its data outside of China and will resist any attempts of Beijing to enter this information.
“TikTok US user data is stored in the United States, with strict controls over employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors are from the United States. We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of our users as we continue to work to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform, ”said TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide. , to CNN last month.
Cyber security experts said TikTok’s potential risk to national security was largely moot and there was no evidence to suggest that the app’s user data has been compromised by Chinese intelligence.