Trump Signs Executive Orders To Ban TikTok and WeChat Apps

Citing risks to national security, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting American residents from doing business with the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning in 45 days.

The bans are an escalation by Trump in his confrontation with Beijing as the U.S. seeks to curb China’s power in global technology. With the U.S. election less than 90 days away, Trump is making his challenge of China a central theme of his campaign, where he trails Democrat Joe Biden in the polls.

Shares of WeChat’s owner, China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., fell as much as 10% in morning trading and sliced almost $70 billion from its market value.

In the last week, Trump has also pushed for the sale of TikTok, the popular video app owned by ByteDance Ltd., to an American company. The new executive orders threaten penalties on any U.S. resident or company that conducts transactions with TikTok, WeChat or their owners after the orders take effect in September.