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Aug 14, 2020
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President Donald Trump has ramped up pressure on TikTok, the popular short-video app, issuing yet another executive order on top of one issued last week that would effectively ban the app in the US next month.

The first order, issued a week ago, bars "transactions" with ByteDance, the app's Chinese owner, a move that could potentially affect Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store, which distribute the popular software in the US. A similar order targets WeChat, a messaging app owned by Chinese giant Tencent. Trump issued the orders under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a law that allows the president to regulate international commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to any unusual or extraordinary threat to the US.

"The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People's Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the executive order reads. "At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by one mobile application in particular, TikTok."

A new order, as reported by CNN, was issued late Friday that gives ByteDance 90 days to conclude a deal to divest the US operations -- doubling the amount of time it previously gave. It also ordered ByteDance to delete any data obtained from US TikTok orders.

Trump's move comes after weeks of high drama involving TikTok. The president has had TikTok in his sights since early July, when he said he would take action against the company in response to China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an earlier interview that Trump was considering the ban because the app could make US user data accessible to the Chinese government. The administration's focus then turned to forcing a sale of the app to a US company, and Microsoft entered into discussions with ByteDance to purchase part of the business. (Microsoft declined to comment on the executive order.)

TikTok blasted the original executive order in a blunt blog post that accused the administration of acting in bad faith.

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