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President Trump Issues Executive Order Forcing Sale of TikTok

TikTok
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TikTok

The popular social video app will be banned in the U.S. in 45 days if it's not sold.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Thursday evening barring transactions with ByteDance, forcing the Chinese tech firm to divest itself of its U.S. TikTok operations.

The order, which is scheduled to go into effect in 45 days, gives a strict timeline for ByteDance to sell the business. Microsoft said on Sunday that it was in conversations with the company about acquiring TikTok's operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

TikTok, which has more than 100 million users in the U.S., has drawn scrutiny because of its Chinese owner. The Trump administration has worried that, through ByteDance, the personal data of U.S. TikTok users could find its way into the hands of the Chinese government.

"These risks are real," reads his executive order. "The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security."

In a lengthy statement issued over the weekend, Microsoft acknowledged Trump's concerns and said it would "build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections." Among the measures it outlined were places to transfer and store all data on American TikTok users to the U.S. and to delete any data that is being backed up on servers outside the country.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.