In the latest attempt to ramp up pressure on the Chinese company over concerns about the safety of the personal data it deals with, Trump said, “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance may take action that threatens to harm the national security of the United States.”
Trump’s latest move comes on the heels of an executive order issued last week that would ban certain transactions with TikTok. ByteDance is already in talks to sell TikTok operations in North America, Australia and New Zealand to Microsoft.
The new order adds even more pressure on ByteDance to withdraw TikTok, and legally supports the US government’s crackdown on the Chinese-owned social media app.
US officials are authorized to inspect TikTok and ByteDance books and information systems to ensure the integrity of personal data while the sale talks continue.
While TikTok is popular for videos among teenagers, US officials have expressed concerns that user information could be passed on to the Chinese Communist government.
ByteDance said Friday in response to the matter that 100 million Americans use TikTok “because it is their home for entertainment, self-expression and connection. We are committed to continuing to delight families for many years to come.”