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Trump Bans Dealings with Chinese Owners of TikTok and WeChat
President Donald Trump has ordered a U.S. ban on dealings with the owners of the popular social media apps TikTok and WeChat.
The action came in the form of two executive orders issued on Thursday. The measures are set to take effect in 45 days.
The orders state that the Chinese-owned apps "threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."
Trump issued the action under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The law gives the administration wide powers to bar U.S. companies or citizens from trading or completing financial dealings with identified parties.
Steven Weber is with the Berkeley Center for Long Term Cybersecurity. He told The Associated Press, "This is a pretty broad and pretty quick expansion of the technology Cold War between the U.S. and China."
The exact transactions that will be covered by the orders are to be defined by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by mid-September.
The action could result in the two apps being barred from the Apple and Google app stores, effectively making them unavailable for download in the United States. However, technology experts have noted that any attempt to ban Americans from using the apps would be nearly impossible to enforce.
China's ByteDance owns TikTok. The video sharing app is hugely popular in the United States and many other countries, especially among young people. The company says it has 100 million users in the United States and hundreds of millions worldwide.
WeChat, owned by China's Tencent Holdings, is a hugely popular messaging app that links to financial and other services. It has more than 1 billion users. Around the world, many people of Chinese descent use WeChat to contact friends and family and to carry out business in mainland China.
One of Trump's orders stated that TikTok could be used for disinformation campaigns. The U.S. "must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security," the order said.
Earlier, Trump had threatened to "close down" TikTok in the U.S. unless Microsoft Corporation or another company bought it.
The other order said WeChat could easily capture large amounts of information from its users.
The Trump administration and U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly warned that TikTok could be misusing private user information. TikTok and the Chinese government condemned the executive orders.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said ByteDance and Tencent obey all U.S. laws. "The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses," the spokesman said.
In a statement, TikTok expressed shock at the order and said it is a violation of U.S. law. The company said it tried unsuccessfully for nearly a year to reach a "constructive solution" with the U.S. administration. TikTok promised to seek "all remedies" available to make sure the company and its users "are treated fairly."
A spokesman for Tencent told Reuters news agency the company was "reviewing the executive order to get a full understanding."
The orders were issued one day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an expansion to a U.S. program to prevent Chinese apps and telecommunication companies from accessing sensitive information on U.S. citizens and businesses.
I'm Bryan Lynn.

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administration [əd.mini'streiʃən]

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n. 行政,管理,行政部门

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available [ə'veiləbl]

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adj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的

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flavor ['fleivə]

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n. 滋味,香料,风格
vt. 加味于

 
solution [sə'lu:ʃən]

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n. 解答,解决办法,溶解,溶液

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effectively [i'fektivli]

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adv. 事实上,有效地

 
enforce [in'fɔ:s]

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vt. 实施,执行,强制,强迫,加强

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executive [ig'zekjutiv]

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adj. 行政的,决策的,经营的,[计算机]执行指令

 
oppress [ə'pres]

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v. 使(心情等)沉重,使烦恼,压迫,压制某人

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defined [di'faind]

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adj. 有定义的,确定的;清晰的,轮廓分明的 v. 使

 
constructive [kən'strʌktiv]

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adj. 建设性的,构造上的,作图的

 


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