AUSTIN (KXAN) — Time could be ticking for TikTok in the U.S.
On Friday, Pres. Donald Trump told reporters that the hugely popular Chinese-owned social media video app could be blocked in the U.S. as soon as Saturday.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned from a trip to Florida.
The company’s ownership has recently raised intelligence and privacy concerns from U.S. officials, even though the company says it does not share user data with the Chinese government. The company’s operations are under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
As to whether or not Trump has the authority to ban a social media platform, the President says he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to make it happen.
“I have that authority,” he said.
But how would a ban work?
The BBC posits that some options could start by blocking and removing the app from the Apple and Google Play stores, making it impossible to download for new users.
The U.S. government could potentially add TikTok’s owner Bytedance to a list of foreign entities that the U.S. is forbidden to working with.
Meanwhile, existing users could be blocked from receiving notifications and updates would be stopped. Additionally, in order to wipe the app from users’ phones, Apple and Google could be forced to use technology that allows them to remotely wipe or prevent forbidden apps from opening.
A Saturday morning video from TikTok’s U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas, the company said, in part:
“We’re not planning on going anywhere. TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, their ideas and connect with people across different backgrounds. And we are so proud of all the various communities that call TikTok their home.”
The company also pointed to the number of employees it currently employs (1,500) and the number it plans to bring to the U.S. in the future (10,000).
“We’re here for the long run and continue to share your voice here and let’s stand for TikTok.”