U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday ordered sweeping bans on two Chinese consumer apps.
He ordered the bans prohibiting U.S. companies from doing business with ByteDance, the owner of the video-sharing app TikTok, and Tencent, the owner of the messenger app WeChat. The executive orders targeting the Chinese companies go into effect in 45 days.
Whether Trump has the legal authority for such actions is not immediately clear, analysts said.
The move comes amid data collection and privacy concerns the Trump administration and U.S. lawmakers have expressed about the apps. However, no evidence has been cited to support the claims.
Both companies have said they do not share their data with the Chinese government.
“I am the first to yell from the rooftops when there is a glaring privacy issue somewhere,” mobile security expert Will Strafach told The Associated Press last month. ”But we just have not found anything we could call a smoking gun in TikTok.”
Analysts said they expect China to retaliate.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the U.S. would not allow U.S. stores to sell Chinese apps because of security concerns.
Millions of people around the world use the two apps.