President of the United States Donald J. Trump has announced that he will ban the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok in the U.S., either by signing an executive order or by using emergency economic powers as soon as Saturday, Aug. 1. 

Is Trump Banning TikTok?

According to USA Today, the president announced late Friday, July 31, to the reporters aboard the Air Force One on his way home to the White House from Florida.

Trump's threat to ByteDance, TikTok's owner, comes after the scandal that the app is involved in regarding how they handle the personal data of their users and that the U.S. government believe it is a threat to their national security, especially as the app has around 80 million active members in the country.

Reuters had sources familiar with the matter and said that the announcement followed a "frantic negotiation" between ByteDance, the White House, and the potential buyers of the app, including tech powerhouse Microsoft.

According to one of the sources, the company has failed to make a deal that would shed the app's operations in the country.

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The Pressure of Selling the App

One of the news outlets' sources also said that they are having a hard time making a deal because of the company's expected valuations of TikTok, which is more than $50 billion and the company's insistence that they maintain a minority stake in the app.

ByteDance, as well as Microsoft and the U.S. Treasury Department that handles the government panel reviewing the company's ownership of TikTok declined to make any comment, but a spokesperson for the app did share a brief statement.

"While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok," the spokesperson for the app said.

It can be remembered that the U.S. Navy and even the hacktivist group Anonymous have encouraged the public to delete the app and stop using it as the app is allegedly harvesting personal data from its users.

Besides that, the app is also involved in a recent issue with Triller, a competitor of the app.

Facing an Infringement Complaint

In a report by Business Insider, Triller Inc. sues the app for apparent patent infringement for copying their patented technology that uses audio tracks to edit multiple videos, and they had it patented back in 2017, two years after they filed for the patent when the app was founded.

Based on the report, Triller's lawyers ask for damages and ask the court to file an injunction against ByteDance to prevent the company from further infringement of their patents.

The complaint has already been filed Wednesday, July 29, in the U.S. District Court for the Western Division of Texas as the company has offices in the state's capital, Austin.

Furthermore, Mike Lu, Triller's CEO, has claimed that their rival is paying some creators to "actually not post on Triller," which is a move he describes as "neither ethical nor legal."

Besides the patent infringement complaint, Lu also plans on adding an antitrust violation against TikTok.

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Written by: Nhx Tingson

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