On Thursday, President Trump has signed an executive order to ban U.S. transactions with the Chinese owners WeChat and TikTok. Orders for both will take effect in 45 days after the Trump flagged Chinese apps as untrusted from U.S. digital networks. The ban has escalated the high-stakes confrontation with Beijing over the future of the tech industry globally.
However, they are vague and oddly confusing as they say, Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, will not identify what transactions are covered. There is still no clarity on how the orders will affect the apps’ operations in the U.S.
On Friday, China said that the companies are ready to comply with the laws and regulations of the U.S. They even warned that the U.S. that if they ban Chinese apps they will have to bear the consequences of its action.
In a media briefing, Wang Wenbin, foreign ministry spokesman, told “The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses. That’s just a hegemonic practice.”
TikTok has come under intense scrutiny from the U.S. lawmakers over national security concerns due to distrust surrounding its process of data collection. On Sunday, Trump reportedly gave Microsoft 45 days to purchase and takeover TikTok’s operations in the U.S.
On Friday’s statement, TikTok said “We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,” adding that it would “pursue all remedies available to us to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded”.
Tencent is one of the world’s biggest internet companies globally; its banning on U.S. transactions with a further fracture of the global internet. It will also affect long-standing ties between the tech industries in the U.S. and China.
On Wednesday, Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, expanded a program called Clean Network. This program aims to prevent Chinese apps and telecoms firms from accessing sensitive information on U.S. businesses and citizens.
A Tencent spokesperson said, “We are reviewing the executive order to get a full understanding.”