Trump banned ByteDance and partially Tencent transfers to Americans

US President Donald Trump has signed two executive orders. The first prohibits Americans from making ByteDance transfers, the second partially prohibits working with Tencent. Officially, they are directed against TikTok and WeChat, respectively.

Image Source: Getty/Drew Angerer
These orders have already become available for review on the web.

In both cases, the official reason for the ban is the authorities’ concern about the popularity of Chinese applications. The White House believes that:

«(…) The widespread use in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, international politics and the economy of the United States.”The President’s position on TikTok

According to the document, TikTok collects large amounts of data about American users, including Internet activity, location, search history. It is assumed that this data can give the Chinese side access to the personal information of Americans (including federal employees). This opens up opportunities for blackmail.

Trump also points to the existence of political censorship in the interests of the Chinese Communist Party in TikTok. It is assumed that the application can be used by a potential adversary to spread disinformation, as has already happened before, according to the decree, when publishing conspiratorial videos about the sources of the coronavirus.

Since the president considers these risks to be real, he ordered, starting from September 20, to prohibit any transfers of ByteDance and its divisions from any persons and companies within the jurisdiction of the United States.

The President’s position on WeChat

The general provisions on the messenger agree with those expressed on TikTok, but Trump also mentions that WeChat can provide the Communist Party with access to information about the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire who have come to the United States. According to him, the party can monitor those who “began to enjoy life in a free society for the first time in their lives.”

As part of this decree, the president of the Western hegemony also banned any transfers from Americans and their property to Tencent and its divisions in relation to WeChat. It does not seem to concern other businesses of the Chinese company (as stated by the representative of the White House in Washington, although the presidential decree allowed for a twofold interpretation).

Effects

Against the background of the ban, the value of Tencent shares fell by 10%. We are talking about reducing the exchange value of the company by $ 45 billion.

ByteDance has not yet managed to enter the stock market, its IPO was scheduled for the second half of 2020. It was assumed that its public valuation would be about $75 billion. Now, in the remaining 45 days, Microsoft is going to acquire its entire business for $50 billion.

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