US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order to ban transactions with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.
Mr Trump also issued a follow-up executive order taking similar action to ban WeChat, an app owned by China-based tech giant Tencent.
The orders come as the Mr Trump administration said this week it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from US digital networks and called the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok and messenger app WeChat “significant threats”.
The TikTok app may be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, and the United States “must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” Mr Trump said in one order.
TikTok has denied accusations it is controlled by or shares data with the Chinese government.
In the other order, Mr Trump said WeChat “automatically captures vast swathes of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information”.
The order would effectively ban WeChat in the US in 45 days by barring “to the extent permitted under applicable law, any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd”.
Mr Trump said this week he would support the sale of TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft Corp if the US government got a “substantial portion” of the sales price but warned he will ban the service in the US on September 15.
Tencent and ByteDance declined to comment.