The US President, Donald Trump has said that he will bar fast-growing social media app TikTok from the United States as American authorities have raised concerns that the service could be a tool for Chinese intelligence.
The US officials and lawmakers in recent weeks have voiced raising fears that the wildly popular video platform is being used by Beijing for nefarious purposes, but TikTok has refuted the claim and denied having any link to the Chinese government.
Trump’s move comes following a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) in the United States, which investigates deals affecting US national security.
Media reports which circulated earlier on Friday reported that Trump would require the US operations of the app to be divested from its Chinese parent firm ByteDance, but the president announced a ban.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.”
He added he would take action as soon as Saturday using emergency economic power or executive order. However, it was unclear how such a move may be enforced.
It should be recorded that India has already barred TikTok over national security and privacy concerns while other countries are reportedly mulling similar measures.
TikTok, especially popular with young audiences who create and watch its short-form videos, has an estimated billion users worldwide.