TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is planning to mount a legal and public relations offensive against U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban on China-owned social media app. “ByteDance, the Chinese owner of short video hit TikTok, is preparing to escalate its legal and public relations battle against US President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban the app in the United States” Hong Kong based South China Morning Post revealed Monday.

Last week, President Trump issued two executive orders seeking to ban Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat on grounds of national security. The presidential order requires these China-based apps to find a new buyers in 45 days or shut down their U.S. operation. The move came after U.S. officials repeatedly warned public against using TikTok and other Chinese apps citing privacy and security concerns.

The Beijing-headquartered video sharing app is close to filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration, media reports said. “TikTok is planning to sue the Trump administration, challenging the president’s executive order banning the service from the United States,” the public broadcaster NPR reported on Saturday.

The Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported TikTok’s strategy to fight the ban:

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of short video hit TikTok, is preparing to escalate its legal and public relations battle against US President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban the app in the United States unless it is sold, according to two people familiar with the situation. (…)

“Yiming’s dream is to create a global business,” the person said, referring to Zhang Yiming, the 37-year-old founder of ByteDance. “But if he is set to lose TikTok in the US market either by selling it to a potential competitor or a forced exit, he will have nothing else to lose. Of course he will try every possible way to fight back.”

Meanwhile, the second person familiar with the situation said the Beijing-based company is preparing to harden its legal opposition to US demands, reflecting frustration with previous efforts to accommodate US concerns and public opinion in China which wants it to fight back.

Chinese cyber espionage is a growing threat the U.S. defense and economic sectors.  Communist China is using cyber espionage to carry out “one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history,” FBI Director Christopher Wray warned last month. “The stakes could not be higher, and the potential economic harm to American businesses and the economy as a whole almost defies calculation.”

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Apple and Google app stores to remove “untrusted” Chinese apps. The call was part of the Trump administration’s ‘clean network’ campaign which initially focused on Chinese state-linked telecom companies, mainly Hauwei and ZTE, penetrating U.S. internet and mobile networks.

Besides the U.S., other countries have moved to ban Chinese apps on grounds of national security. Intelligence agencies in the UK and Australia have issued warnings and bans against China-linked apps snooping on military personnel, lawmakers and ordinary citizens. India banned TikTok, WeChat and 57 other Chinese apps as early as June. With 120 million active users, India was the biggest market for the short video sharing apps. New Delhi called TikTok and other Chines apps “malicious” tools which “harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.”

‘President Trump says he will ban the social media video app in the U.S.’

 

 
donate
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.