U.S. ban on TikTok could cut it off from app stores

Reuters has seen new White House documents that reveal how President Donald Trump's executive order to ban China's TikTok app may play out.

The documents, sent out last week show the order could prevent U.S. app stores from offering TikTok for download and would make advertising on the app illegal.

Trump signed an order last week banning transactions with TikTok if its parent ByteDance does not reach a deal to sell it's U.S. assets in 45 days.

However, up until now - its been unclear what that would look like.

The documents show the Trump administration is set to target key aspects of both how the app operates and how it makes money.

TikTok has been swept up in wider tension between the U.S. and China.

American lawmakers targeting TikTok cite concerns the data it collects could be handed over to Chinese authorities.

The company says it has never shared user data with Beijing, nor censored content at its request.

Cutting off Tiktok's ability to be offered on Apple and Google's app stores, could put a significant check on TikTok's ability to grow , if it doesn't sell to a U.S. buyer.

It's not clear yet if that will happen.

So far, Microsoft has been leading negotiations to acquire TikTok's operations in North America, Australia and New Zealandtalks that are under the supervision of the Trump administration.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the White House documents.

It currently has about 100 million active users in the United States.

Video Transcript

- Reuters has seen new White House documents that reveal how President Donald Trump's executive order to ban China's TikTok app may play out. The documents sent out last week show the order could prevent US app stores from offering TikTok for download and would make advertising on the app illegal.

Trump signed an order last week banning transactions with TikTok if its parent ByteDance does not reach a deal to sell its US assets in 45 days. However, up until now, it's been unclear what that would look like. The documents show the Trump administration is set to target key aspects of both how the app operates and how it makes money.

TikTok has been swept up in wider tensions between the US and China. American lawmakers targeting TikTok cite concerns the data it collects could be handed over to Chinese authorities. The company says it has never shared user data with Beijing, nor censored content at its request.

Cutting off TikTok's ability to be offered on Apple and Google's app stores could put a significant check on TikTok ability to grow if it doesn't sell to a US buyer. It's not clear yet if that will happen.

So far, Microsoft has been leading negotiations to acquire TikTok's operations in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, talks that are under the supervision of the Trump administration. TikTok did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the White House documents. It currently has about 100 million active users in the United States.