Following months of speculations about the US banning Chinese app TikTok, on Thursday President Trump signed an executive order to outlaw transactions with the app’s developer ByteDance following a grace period of 45 days.
“We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,” TikTok representatives wrote in an official statement following the US government’s move to ban any transactions with the platform’s developer ByteDance Ltd.
“For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed”, the company added. “What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”
On 6 August, US President Donald Trump signed an order prohibiting “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd” or its subsidiaries beginning 45 days after the document’s signing.
ByteDance is a Beijing-based, multinational internet tech giant, which owns the video-sharing service TikTok.
The Trump administration’s move followed months of speculations from US officials about a possible ban amid security concerns associated with the platform.
However, TikTok dismissed all fears of “misinformation campaigns” or “concerns about the collection of data” raised by the order and said that the “text of the decision makes it plain that there has been a reliance on unnamed ‘reports’ with no citations”.
“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request,” the company wrote.
“In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Centre, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to. We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.”
TikTok representatives added that Trump’s order “risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law” and also sets “a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets”.