TikTok threatened retaliation after US President Donald Trump ordered a ban on US companies doing business with its parent company from next month.
In a statement, TikTok noted it was “shocked” by the move, which came “without any due process”. Trump’s executive order “risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law” and poses a “dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets”, it argued.
TikTok pledged to “pursue all remedies” open to it, which may include legal action.
Trump issued orders against TikTok and WeChat yesterday (6 August), with the block on US companies trading with the apps’ parents set to be enforced on 20 September. Full details of the transactions to be prohibited will be issued at that time.
In notifications to US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump stated TikTok and WeChat were capturing “vast swathes of information from its users” which he claimed could be accessed and employed by the Chinese Communist Party for blackmail, corporate espionage or content censorship.
Earlier this week, Trump gave Microsoft 45 days to conclude a potential takeover of TikTok’s operations in the US and other markets: the deadline for this is 15 September.
Separately, the US Senate approved a call to ban TikTok from devices used by government officials, Reuters reported.