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Trump to order TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell U.S. operations

President Donald Trump will reportedly order TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S operations.

In the official response from the White House, Trump will reportedly not ban the viral video app but will demand its U.S operations be removed from Chinese control, according to Bloomberg. This decision comes after the app drew heavy fire over its data collection policies, leading to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that suggested the U.S would follow India’s lead in banning the app.

Speaking with reporters Friday, Trump said his administration was still “looking at TikTok.”

“We may be banning TikTok,” Trump said, without elaborating or confirming the reports of his pending order. “We may be doing some other things, there are a couple of options.”

It’s unclear specifically what regulatory tools the Trump administration is planning to use to attempt to force TikTok’s parent company to divest its U.S. side.

In a statement to Digital Trends, TikTok declined to comment on “rumors or speculation.”

“We are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” a TikTok spokesperson said. “Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform. We’re motivated by their passion and creativity, and committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”

TikTok is owned by parent company ByteDance, a China-based tech company that has drawn criticism for rumored ties to the Chinese government. TikTok’s detailed data collection process, although similar to other social media apps, has been considered a security risk.

While many experts have called TikTok’s data collection perfectly ordinary, the fear behind the process has had widespread effects.

Security concerns around the app led India to ban it entirely, while several companies and U.S agencies, like Wells Fargo and the Department of Defense, have banned their employees from using the app on work devices.

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