While it may have long been rumored as a possibility, President Donald Trump has taken definitive action against the Chinese social media behind Tiktok.
The app, which is extremely popular among American teens, has been accused of sending data directly to the Chinese government, purportedly for the purpose of spying on American citizens.
President Trump has threatened to neuter the app before, originally giving the video-sharing platform 45 days to sell to Microsoft before being banished in the United States.
Apparently, the Commander in Chief got sick of waiting.
President Trump on Thursday invoked his emergency economic powers to impose broad sanctions against TikTok, a move that steps up pressure on the Chinese-owned app to sell its U.S. assets to an American company.
In the order, which takes effect in 45 days, any transactions between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and U.S. citizens will be outlawed for national security reasons.
In practice, experts told NPR the order likely will mean the viral video service could no longer receive advertising from American companies and the app could be removed from Apple and Google’s app stores.
For the more than 100 million Americans who have downloaded TikTok, experts say the app may no longer be sent software updates, rendering TikTok unmanageable, and eventually nonfunctional, with time.
This has already drawn major pushback on social media, with unwitting TikTok users comparing the executive order to low-grade tyranny.