TikTok slams U.S. action, says will continue to advance proceedings against Trump's executive order
Updated 17:10, 19-Sep-2020

TikTok opposes the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision and says it will continue to advance proceedings against Trump's executive order, the company said on Friday in a statement obtained by CGTN.

"We oppose the decision and feel deeply disappointed. Hundreds of millions of American users have formed a community that loves TikTok as it is a tool for entertainment, self-expression and connection," the statement said.

The U.S. government's previous executive order was issued without due process, said the company, adding that "it may deprive the American people and small businesses of an important platform for their voice and living."

"TikTok will continue to insist on litigation and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of its users, creators, partners and the company," said the statement.

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday issued an order banning U.S. transactions with Chinese video-sharing app TikTok and messaging app WeChat starting September 20.

From that date, any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S. will be prohibited, the order said.

Also, any service through WeChat "for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S." will be banned on Sunday. 

The announcement also laid out a timeline, especially for TikTok, that takes effect on November 12, including provisions that block U.S. companies from providing internet hosting and services for the app. 

Hours after his administration ordered the ban, Trump said he expected an agreement soon on the short video app TikTok to allay security concerns voiced by his administration.

"I think it could go quickly. We have great companies talking to us about it," he said. 

A deal between TikTok owner ByteDance and Oracle is under review. In it, the U.S. software will become a "trusted technology partner" of TikTok in the U.S, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin adding that the final deadline for the deal is Sunday.

On Thursday ByteDance said that a deal on TikTok will require approval from both the Chinese and U.S. authorities.

The Chinese company said it was discussing cooperation plans with some companies to resolve concerns of the U.S. government and the public regarding data security. Business and technology sales are not involved in the plans and there is no final deal so far, ByteDance added.

Read more: ByteDance: TikTok proposal needs approval from both China and U.S.

Previously, sources told CGTN that ByteDance will not sell TikTok's U.S. operations to Microsoft or Oracle, nor will the company give the source code to any U.S. buyers. 

Read more: ByteDance not to sell TikTok's U.S. operations to Microsoft or Oracle: Sources

Since the TikTok controversy started in early July, Chinese officials have repeatedly stressed Beijing's position that ByteDance should not be coerced by the U.S.

On Saturday, China's Ministry of Commerce slammed the latest action of its counterpart, saying it severely harms the legitimate rights of related companies and disrupts normal market order. 

"The United States has repeatedly used national power to hunt and suppress the above-mentioned enterprises using groundless reasons, and this seriously disrupts normal business activities," said the online statement.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday urged the United States to respect the principles of market economy and fair competition.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms where users can watch short-form video clips and create something that could go viral. It reported nearly 700 million monthly active users in July and more than 2 billion global downloads. 

WeChat, owned by the Chinese company Tencent, is an all-in-one mobile app that combines services similar to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram as well as Venmo and is essential to the daily lives of many in China, boasting more than 1 billion users.

According to analytics firms Apptopia, in early August, WeChat is popular among Chinese students, ex-pats and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China, with an average of 19 million daily active users in the United States.

Read more: 

Expert: TikTok's U.S. sale may entail China approval as new tech export curbs debut

(Cover via VCG)