- CIA analysts told the White House that though it is possible for the Chinese government to access TikTok user data, there is "no evidence" that it has done so, per a New York Times report.
- However, President Trump still moved forward with an executive order Thursday night prohibiting US companies from doing business with not only TikTok's parent company ByteDance but also WeChat, a popular app for Chinese citizens.
- The executive order goes into effect on Sept. 20 and is the latest development in a web of US-led efforts to distance Chinese tech firms over national security concerns.
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A recent report from the CIA indicates that the Chinese government has not accessed American user data from the video-sharing app TikTok.
According to The New York Times, CIA analysts told the White House that though it is possible for Chinese officials to obtain data from users of the app — which is owned by the Beijing-based ByteDance — there is "no evidence" that the Eastern nation has done so.
However, President Trump still moved forward with an executive order late Thursday barring US companies from "any transactions" with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance. The order argues TikTok "continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States" and will go into effect on Sept. 20.
The CIA assessment is the latest development in a long series of efforts made by American officials to distance Chinese tech firms from US users over national security concerns. Lawmakers are uneasy about the Chinese government possibly accessing American user data through apps such as TikTok.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has unveiled a US plan to crack down on Chinese apps and services. Dubbed the "Clean Network," the program would block "untrusted" Chinese apps from app stores. However, experts have found that TikTok collects data similarly to how US firms, such as Facebook, do so.
Relations between the US and China have grown increasingly strained as a result, a tension that is exacerbated in part by the coronavirus pandemic, for which President Trump blames China.
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