President Trump earlier today signed two executive orders to prohibit all transactions with ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat in the US, describing it as “additional steps to address the threat” posed by these apps. The orders are set to take effect in 45 days.
TikTok’s parent ByteDance has been in talks with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) about the sale of its US business before September 15. The deal could cost Microsoft between USD 10 billion to USD 30 billion, CNBC reported. ByteDance denied market rumors that Microsoft will buy out TikTok entirely, including the Indian and European parts. The short video app has generated about 165 million installs in the US by April since debut, according to SensorTower.
Tencent is the world’s biggest gaming company with investments in many US players including Activision Blizzard and Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends. It’s the largest Chinese social media firm and owns WeChat, with over 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide. WeChat has little presence in the US compared to WhatsApp or Facebook, but is still an integral communication tool for Chinese people overseas.
This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.