The popular TikTok app might be going away any minute now in the United States, as president Donald Trump has announced his plans to ban the app in the country. This follows previous comments from Trump that the app was in jeopardy, as the president wanted to prevent the Chinese-owned app from having access to U.S. markets. Now, Trump is doubling down on those comments by once again speaking about his intent to take down TikTok in the United States, and that it could be happening as soon as Saturday.
"As far as TikTok is concerned we're banning them from the United States," Trump said bluntly while speaking with the press on Air Force One during a flight to Washington from Florida. When pressed on whether he would use an executive order or a designation to make the ban happen, Trump held back from giving a definitive answer, but teased that both of those were possibilities. "Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that," Trump said. Of course, whether he follows through with these threats remains to be seen, but there's certainly a very real possibility Americans will be seeing TikTok banned by the end of the day.
One possible savior for TikTok in the United States would be bespectacled billionaire Bill Gates, as Microsoft is reportedly in talks with Chinese TikTok owner ByteDance. According to CNBC, these discussions have been ongoing for some time and are not an immediate reaction to Trump's controversial comments. For his part, Trump told reporters that he wasn't on board with the reported potential deal between TikTok and Microsoft, perhaps preferring for the video-sharing app to go away in the country entirely. Meanwhile, Microsoft has not offered any comment on the reports, while a statement from TikTok claimed that they "do not comment on rumors or speculation."
Despite the suggestions that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke about the potential ban of TikTok last month, along with other social media apps based in China. The reasoning offered by Pompeo and the Trump administration is that the apps pose national security concerns, with Pompeo once describing these kinds of apps as "Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence."
In response, TikTok reps insisted in a statement that their user data is very secure. "TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access," the statement reads. "TikTok's biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users' privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform."
Developed in Beijing, TikTok went worldwide in 2018 after an initial launch in China. The app allows users to create short videos of themselves singing, dancing, or lip-syncing to music. Since arriving in the States, the app has become tremendously popular, with even many celebrities launching their own highly-viewed TikTok channels. Needless to say, there will be many, many people left very unhappy if TikTok winds up shut down by the time the weekend is over. This news comes to us from CNBC.