Trump administration delays TikTok ban
The Trump administration announced overnight that it would delay the enforcement of the ban on TikTok which was due to take effect from Thursday.
The US said it would grant the Chinese-owned social media app a temporary reprieve as the US commerce department was “pending further legal developments”.
The popular app was barred from app stores in the US over national security concerns and the rules were set to take effect on Thursday.
In August, Trump signed an executive order to ban the app unless it sold its US operations in 45 days. ByteDance filed a petition in a Washington court this week asking for a delay.
The company asked for a 30-day extension due to “continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted”.
The news came as the US justice department said it had appealed against a judge’s October order that blocked the restrictions.
The Trump administration also unveiled on Thursday an executive order prohibiting US investments in Chinese firms that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.
Some of China’s biggest companies could potentially be affected by the order, including China Telecom, China Mobile and Hikvision.
Starting on 11 January, the order will prohibit purchases by US investors of the securities of those companies. Transactions made in order to divest ownership in the companies will be permitted until 11 November, 2021.
“China is increasingly exploiting the United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses,” said the order released by the White House.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told reporters on a call that “this is a sweeping order designed to choke off American capital to China’s militarization.”
The weight of the decision is unclear as the administration is in transition and next president Joe Biden has not laid out a detailed China strategy. All the indications are that he will continue a tough approach to Beijing.