President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on the parent company of the popular social media app TikTok. The new order, which is set to take effect in 45 days, bans any transactions between the company ByteDance and U.S. citizens.
The move will put pressure on the Chinese-owned company to sell its U.S. assets to an American company. The White House claims TikTok stores a vast amount of information from its users, such as location data and search history.
"This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage," according to the executive order.
Trump said that the sale of the app would have to include “a substantial amount of money” going to the U.S. Treasury. TikTok released a statement following the new order.
"We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process," the statement read in part.
“This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth,” the company also wrote.
The company added that the order sets a “dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets.”
TikTok has reportedly been downloaded over 175 million times in the United States, according to Trump's executive order. It's not clear how the order taking effect will impact users of the app, but some experts speculated that the app would no longer be able to display U.S. advertisements on its platform.
The Trump administration cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act as giving the legal authority for the order.
In a separate order on Thursday night, the White House also put a ban on the Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat.