WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced sweeping restrictions on two popular Chinese social media networks, TikTok and WeChat, a sharp escalation of its confrontation with China that is likely to be met with retaliation.
The twin executive orders, released late Thursday night and taking effect in 45 days, cited national security concerns. The orders will bar any transactions with WeChat or TikTok by any person or involving any property subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The order would exclude any contract entered into before the 45 days elapse, opening up a possible reprieve for TikTok, which is in talks to be acquired by Microsoft.
Statement on the Administration's Executive Order
TikTok is a community full of creativity and passion, a home that brings joy to families and meaningful careers to creators. And we are building this platform for the long term. TikTok will be here for many years to come.
We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.
We made clear our intentions to work with the appropriate officials to devise a solution to benefit our users, creators, partners, employees, and the broader community in the United States. There has been, and continues to be, no due process or adherence to the law. The text of the decision makes it plain that there has been a reliance on unnamed "reports" with no citations, fears that the app "may be" used for misinformation campaigns with no substantiation of such fears, and concerns about the collection of data that is industry standard for thousands of mobile apps around the world. We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to. We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.
This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth. And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.
We want the 100 million Americans who love our platform because it is your home for expression, entertainment, and connection to know: TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you. We prioritize your safety, security, and the trust of our community – always. As TikTok users, creators, partners, and family, you have the right to express your opinions to your elected representatives, including the White House. You have the right to be heard.
Ha! I get what you mean Sturgis. If I get interested in some
thing, that probably means it’s starting to go out of style.
In a new court filing, TikTok leaders make clear just how much is at stake in a prolonged battle with the Trump administration: If TikTok were banned for two months, up to half of its users in America would never come back. If the ban persisted for six months, 90% of TikTok users would be gone forever, according to a top TikTok executive.
President Trump's crusade to ban the popular video-sharing app in the U.S. has already cost TikTok millions of dollars in advertising revenue, made it more difficult to recruit new employees and, unless a federal court blocks Trump's ban from taking effect this weekend, TikTok is facing "catastrophic economic loss," Pappas said.
The Trump administration has until Friday to either delay an order banning Chinese-owned TikTok from US app stores or file legal papers defending the ban, a district court judge ruled Thursday.
The US Commerce Department's order banning new downloads of the popular short form video app is set to take effect Sunday. The government must file a response to TikTok's request for a temporary injunction or delay it by 11:30 a.m. PT, US District Judge Carl Nichols said.