TikTok: Trump Says He Will Ban Chinese Video App in The US
He told reporters he could sign an executive order as early as Saturday.
US security officials have expressed concern that the app, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, could be used to collect the personal data of Americans.
TikTok has denied accusations that it is controlled by or shares data with the Chinese government.
The fast-growing app has up to 80 million active monthly users in America and the ban would be a major blow for ByteDance.
Microsoft has reportedly been in talks to buy the app from ByteDance, but Mr Trump appeared to cast doubt that such a deal would be allowed to go through. If the deal went ahead reports say it would involve ByteDance shedding TikTok’s US operations.
The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over a number of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
What is TikTok?
The platform has exploded in popularity in recent years, mostly with people under 20.
They use the app to share 15-second videos that often involve lip-synching to songs, comedy routines and unusual editing tricks.
These videos are then made available to both followers and strangers. By default, all accounts are public, although users can restrict uploads to an approved list of contacts.
TikTok also allows private messages to be sent but this facility is limited to “friends”.
The app is reported to have around 800 million active monthly users, most of whom are in the US and India.
Analysis by James Clayton, BBC North America technology correspondent
In India TikTok was banned after a border skirmish with China – it was caught up in a geopolitical feud. And that’s what’s happened here, too. Trump’s sights are set firmly on China – and this should be seen through that lens.
But, in many ways it doesn’t matter what they say, the fact that they are owned by a Chinese’s company is guilt enough.
Last month users claimed to have scuppered his Tulsa rally after signing up to tickets they had no intention of using.
It’s hard to believe that’s not a factor here.
This week, TikTok told users and regulators it would observe a high level of transparency, including allowing reviews of its algorithms.
“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,” the CEO of TikTok, Kevin Mayer, said in a post this week.
“TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy.”