U.S. bans TikTok, WeChat citing national security risks, collection of personal data

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 19, 2020

President Trump has previously stated that he would ban TikTok if it wasn't sold to an American company. The inclusion of only one Chinese official on the board and an American national security director upset the author of the article.

Oracle and Walmart are seeking stakes of 12.5% and 7.5%, respectively. "At the President's direction, we have taken significant action to combat China's malicious collection of American citizens' personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of USA laws and regulations".

But China and both companies deny this.

"TikTok is moving along", Trump announced on Saturday. "I approved the deal in concept", Trump told reporters, saying, "it is a great deal for America".

While the U.S. government says this is a matter of national security, TikTok claims the proposed ban is motivated by politics.

If a deal is not finalized by Sunday, Trump has already signed an executive order that would shut down TikTok in the US - likely enraging the app's 100 million American users just weeks before the presidential election.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent Bytedance a revised terms sheet late Wednesday and the company and Oracle accepted it, the people said.

Any deal needs to be approved by both Trump - who could still reject the transaction - and the Chinese government, where officials have accused the USA of "economic bullying".

While ByteDance said they will get the remaining stake, Oracle said it will be divided among American investors. This includes four venture-capital firms.

Trump said on Fox News Monday morning that the Chinese won't have anything to do with TikTok after the deal goes through. Moreover, the author thinks that the demand placed by Americans for providing the source code of TikTok to Oracle is preposterous.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an order to delay TikTok's U.S. app store ban by a week until September 27. "They're going to have total control over it". Walmart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon would have a seat on TikTok Global's board of directors, and four out of five members will be from the US, according to a statement from Walmart.

That body would be chaired by an American data-security expert who would be the primary contact with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, which would oversee any issues of concern to the USA government.

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