President Trump on Friday said he plans to ban the social media platform TikTok from operating in the United States.
The app, which allows users to record short videos has become hugely popular internationally in recent years.
However its popularity has caused some consternation around the world due to its Chinese ownership.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
The president said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order as early as Saturday to officially bar the Chinese-owned company from the U.S. He signaled he was not supportive of allowing an American company to acquire TikTok.
India banned the app in recent months after skirmishes with Chinese troops on the two nations’ dispute border in the Himalayas.
Microsoft have apparently been in talks to acquire the company or a large stake, this deal would have to be in the tens of billions – which would be one of the biggest business deals in history.
Microsoft acquiring TikTok would likely go a long way in alleviating western fears of privacy and national security. ByteDance has made its own attempts at lessening these concerns, including appointing former Disney executive, Kevin Mayer, as its CEO and even floating the idea of American investment companies buying back the company from ByteDance.
Given its sheer popularity, especially with young crowds, TikTok is likely to continue in a controversial spotlight unless something big happens. TikTok has been banned by the Navy, Army, and the TSA. Joe Biden’s presidential campaign staff was recently forbidden from using the app on work and personal devices, and the list could go on and on.