WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump said he could exert pressure on more Chinese companies, such as technology giant Alibaba, after he moved to ban TikTok.
Asked at a news conference on Saturday if there were other China-owned companies on which he was considering a ban, such as Alibaba, he replied: “Well, we’re looking at other things, yes.”
Mr Trump has been piling pressure on Chinese-owned companies, including by vowing to ban short-video app TikTok from the United States.
He ordered TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance on Friday to divest the US operations of TikTok within 90 days, in the latest effort to ramp up pressure over concerns about the safety of the personal data the platform handles.
He now has a verified account on TikTok rival Triller, in another sign of the White House’s disfavour towards the Chinese video-sharing app.
Triller is one of several TikTok alternatives that have experienced a surge of downloads since Mr Trump signed an executive order on Aug 6 to prohibit certain transactions with TikTok unless ByteDance divests it.
TikTok is best known for its viral dance videos that capture the American teenage zeitgeist, but US officials have expressed concerns that user data could be passed by the Chinese-owned app to the authorities in Beijing.
ByteDance is already in talks to sell TikTok’s North American, Australian and New Zealand operations to Microsoft.
With the platform under a cloud, its once-obscure competitors are stepping up their efforts to woo its young user base.
Mr Trump’s Triller account had three short videos and a little more than 3,000 followers on Saturday.
The Trump campaign and Triller did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mr Trump, who has made changing the US-China trade relationship a central theme of his presidency, has been sharply critical of China while also praising its purchases of agriculture products such as soya beans and corn as part of a trade agreement reached late last year.