Chinese video app TikTok, which has 80 million active US users, is taking legal action to challenge a ban imposed by US President, Donald Trump.

According to a BBC report, Mr Trump’s executive order prohibits transactions with TikTok’s owner, ByteDance from mid-September.

Officials in Washington are concerned that the company could pass data on American users to the Chinese government, something ByteDance has denied doing.

Meanwhile, TikTok says it has tried to engage with Mr Trump’s administration for nearly a year but has encountered lack of due process and an administration that pays “no attention to facts”.

Mr Trump claims China is able to use the app to track the locations of federal employees, collect information for use in blackmail, or spy on companies but TikTok says it has never handed over any US users’ data to Chinese authorities.
TikTok expects the legal action to begin this week, says BBC Business reporter, Vivienne Nunis.

Similarly On Friday, a group of Chinese-Americans filed a separate lawsuit against the president’s similar ban on the social media app WeChat, which is owned by the Chinese firm, Tencent.

The growth of mobile apps developed and owned by Chinese firms “threatens the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”, Mr Trump says.

“This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information,” he claims in his executive order.

Mr Trump’s actions against TikTok and WeChat are the latest in a growing campaign against China ahead of the US presidential election in November.
The US is not the only country to introduce blocks on TikTok. India has banned use of the app, and Australia is also considering taking action.

WeChat is very popular with users who have connections to China, where major social networking platforms – such as WhatsApp and Facebook – are blocked.It is also viewed as being a key instrument in China’s internal surveillance apparatus – requiring local users who have been accused of spreading malicious rumours to register a facial scan and voiceprint.

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