United States (US) President Donald Trump said he will ban social media app TikTok from the country as American authorities have raised concerns the service could be a tool for Chinese intelligence.
US officials and lawmakers in recent weeks have voiced fears of the wildly popular video platform being used by Beijing for nefarious purposes, but the company has denied any links to the Chinese government.
According to media reports, Trump would require the US operations of the app be divested from its Chinese parent firm ByteDance, but the president announced a ban.
Speaking to media officials, Trump said: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.”
Moreover, he added he would take action as soon as Saturday using emergency economic power or an executive order.
Trump’s move comes following a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) in the United States, which investigates deals affecting US national security.
TikTok has an estimated billion users worldwide.
However, the company declined to comment on the reports of the forced sales, saying only: “We are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.
“Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform.”
“We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda — our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy,” TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said in post this week.
“TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy.”
Furthermore, the popularity of the platform surged after ByteDance acquired US-based app Musical.ly in 2017 and merged it with its own video service.