DONALD Trump’s public war with TikTok and WeChat wiped $100BILLION off Chinese tech stocks.
TikTok will be banned in the US in 45 days time after the president signed an executive order classifying the app a “national security threat.”
Donald Trump signed an executive order classifying TikTok as a ‘national security threat’[/caption]
He is also pushing for the sale of the app to an American company and wants US businesses to take the two Chinese platforms off their app stores.
The news came as it was revealed Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune surged to $100bn after he launched TikTok rival Instagram Reels.
Trump’s shock move hit trading in Asian equities hard overnight, with WeChat’s owner Tencent Holdings falling as much as 10 per cent in morning trading.
The Chinese tech firm’s stock later recovered to close down five per cent at the end of the day.
In total, the sell-off lopped off around $75bn in market capitalisation from Chinese tech groups listed in Hong Kong.
However, at one point the losses topped $100bn.
The value of Chinese internet groups Alibaba and JD.com also fell as much as 6.7 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively
Beijing has accused the U.S. of “arbitrary political manipulation and suppression” in the wake of the sweeping restrictions.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the U.S. move came at the expense of American users and companies.
Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said: “Trump’s growing attack on Chinese tech sent Asian stock indices lower on Friday, as the escalating tensions between the U.S. and China also threatens the trade agreement that the two countries spent two years getting signed.”
The values of Chinese tech firms have been hit hard by Trump’s announcement[/caption]
Trump’s executive order released on Thursday claimed TikTok poses “real” risks to U.S. citizens.
The social media app will be banned on September 20 if its parent company ByteDance doesn’t sell its American operations.
Also on the chopping block is WeChat, a multi-purpose messaging and mobile payment app launched in 2011 by Chinese developer Tencent.
“At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by one mobile app in particular, TikTok,” the order says.
“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories.
“This data threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information, potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
International observers says the move will further rock crumbling relations between Beijing and Washington.
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“This is the rupture in the digital world between the U.S. and China,” said James Lewis, a technology expert with Washington-based think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“Absolutely, China will retaliate.”WeChat has been downloaded a relatively small 19 million times in the United States, showed data from Sensor Tower.
Tension has been simmering between the two superpowers for months, with the United States taking issue with China’s handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and moves to curb freedoms in Hong Kong.