President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting U.S. residents from doing business with the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning 45 days from now, citing the national security risk of leaving Americans’ personal data exposed.
“To protect our Nation, I took action to address the threat posed by one mobile application, TikTok. Further action is needed to address a similar threat posed by another mobile application, WeChat,” Trump said in the order against WeChat, released minutes after the TikTok measure.
The measure against WeChat blocks all transactions involving the app.
The orders, which are likely to face legal challenges, would bar “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd” in an effort to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.”
The administration is investigating whether ByteDance is harvesting the data of millions of American users. The U.S. Navy last year urged service members to delete the app from government devices.
The new order bans TikTok under the National Emergencies Act and is set to take effect in 45 days, just after the Sept. 15 deadline set for Microsoft’s proposed purchase of the social media platform. Any company still doing business with TikTok in 45 days is subject to sanctions, according to the order.