President Donald Trump announced on Friday he will ban social media app TikTok from operating in the United States, amid fears it could be used by China to collect data from Americans.
Trump said the popular video app could become defunct in the U.S. as early as Saturday, under an executive order or through use of emergency economic powers.
‘As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States’ he told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One.
‘Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that [emergency economic powers].’
‘We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok,’ Trump told reporters at the White House Friday. ‘We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok’
TikTok’s wide popularity among American teens has brought scrutiny from U.S. regulators and lawmakers who fear their personal information could fall into the hands of government officials in Beijing
He also said he did not support allowing an American company to purchase the platform.
It comes after a The New York Times report revealed Microsoft was in talks to acquire TikTok, in a deal that could ‘alter the app’s ownership.’
TikTok, which has some 800 million users around the globe, has raised concern among worldwide and US officials for its potential threat to security, along with claims that the Chinese government is using the technology to spy on citizens.
The platform took the world by storm in 2017, which allows users to create original videos that are shared in the app for millions to see.