Donald Trump intends to ban TikTok in the US as soon as Saturday.
Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday night, Trump announced he would use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the ban.
Trump also said he is against the idea of a US-based company acquiring the Chinese-owned TikTok. Earlier on Friday, it was revealed that Microsoft had entered into negotiations to purchase the popular video sharing app.
TikTok is estimated to have upwards of 65 million active users in the US and consistently ranks as among the most downloaded apps on Apple’s App Store. However, US government officials have expressed concerns over the amount of data collected by TikTok compared to other prominent social media platforms, especially given that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company. In late 2019, the US military banned its personnel from using the app on government-issued devices.
As the coronavirus pandemic has worsened tensions between the US and China, there have been renewed calls by some US officials to limit the availability of Chinese apps including TikTok. One would assume that Trump himself also didn’t take kindly to TikTok users sabotaging his recent rally in Tulsa.
For its part, TikTok has sought to placate its critics by recently hiring Disney veteran Kevin Mayer as its new CEO. The platform also began storing its data in the US.
The future of TikTok is of particular interest to the music industry. Over the last year, the platform has emerged as fertile grounds for music discovery, with artists such as Lil Nas X, Beabadoobee, Ashnikko, and Benee owing their initial fame to TikTok virality. Given its massive, predominately younger-skewing audience, established musicians such as The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Lizzo, and even Prince’s estate have also sought to cultivate their own TikTok followings. All the while, major labels have zeroed in on the platform as a lucrative money-making opportunity and recently secured licensing deals.
This is a developing story…
Trump via pool: “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States.” Says action coming as soon as tomorrow pic.twitter.com/ITmCToMm1u
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 1, 2020