President Trump threatens to ban TikTok in the United States

Sarah Cooper on TikTok

He is banning TikTok from the USA, Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One

Again, it's not clear what executive powers would actually allow Trump to put in place a US -wide ban of the application, but it looks like ByteDance is working with parties in the USA on a deal that assumes he'd be able to do so unless the Chinese company divests entirely its USA -based TikTok operations to an American owner.

US officials, and foreign governments, have targeted TikTok as a credible threat to security, with fears that it could serve the Chinese government with sensitive personal data from devices across the world. The value of TikTok's U.S. arm has been put at between $15bn and $30bn (£11bn-£23bn).

The US government has since issued a ban on the app from being installed on government devices, including active service members of the military.

President Trump reportedly has a "deal on his desk" that would allow total American oversight of the video sharing app TikTok. The plan allows for another US company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.

The offer is a concession for the company, which had previously hoped to keep a minority stake in local TikTok operations. The app, which has more than 2.3 billion downloads worldwide, was most recently valued at a whopping $30 billion to $50 billion. No action was announced before the president left the White House Saturday morning for the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. According to a 1988 law, Trump has the authority to block foreign business deals pertaining to United States companies if he deems it a national security threat.

Update August 1 12:41 P.M. Eastern Time Added Reuters report on ByteDance divesting from TikTok.

Last month, it was discovered that a new feature in iOS 14 warns users when an app is checking out your iPhone's clipboard.

It remains unclear whether or not Trump has the authority to unilaterally ban TikTok, and whether such a ban would hold up in court.

In a video posted on Twitter, Vanessa Pappas thanked the millions of Americans who use the app every day.

In response, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok's United States general manager, said in a video message that "we're not planning on going anywhere".

"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", TikTok said in its statement. "Our $1 billion creator fund supports United States creators who are building livelihoods from our platform". TikTok creators in the United States have been scrambling to make sense of the whole kerfluffle, urging followers to migrate with them to other services like Instagram, and even creating new accounts with Canadian email addresses to try to work around a ban, one that may well be long on bluster and short on an actual effective ban. So we appreciate the support.

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