Trump earlier in the day said he planned to sign an order directing ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, to sell its U.S. operations.
When speaking to reporters on Air Force 1, Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to ban TikTok in the United States.
U.S. lawmakers have raised intelligence and privacy concerns about the company’s ownership. The company has denied allegations that it shares user data with the Chinese government.
Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.”
Chinese internet company ByteDance owns TikTok, which is designed for users outside of China; it also makes a Chinese version called Douyin. Like YouTube, TikTok relies on its users for the videos that populate its app. It has a reputation for fun, goofy videos and is popular with young people, including millions of Americans.
But critics have cited concerns, including the possibility of TikTok censoring videos, such as those critical of the Chinese government, sharing user data with Chinese officials, and violating kids’ privacy. TikTok has said it doesn’t censor videos based on topics sensitive to China and it would not give the Chinese government access to U.S. user data even if asked.
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