More Chinese Companies Could Be Banned By Trump

Trump Says Task Force Will Pivot To Reopening Country

President Donald Trump is not done banning online Chinese companies from doing business in the U.S.

When asked at a news conference Saturday (Aug. 15) whether he is contemplating action against more Chinese companies, including Alibaba, a global technology company specializing in eCommerce, the president said he is considering further punitive measures against other groups, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

“We’re looking at other things, yes we are,” the president told reporters at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Last week, he gave ByteDance, the parent of TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, until Sept. 15 to sell its U.S. operations in the San Francisco Bay area. Microsoft is in talks to buy it.

In his order to ban TikTok, Trump said there was credible evidence ByteDance is a threat to the country’s national security.

“If no deal [with Microsoft] is reached, this could shut TikTok down in the U.S. in 90 days,” Kevin Wolf, a partner at Akin Gump who oversaw the commerce department’s sanctions list until 2017, told FT.

Trump’s comment came one day after he implemented an order to prohibit U.S. companies from selling products to Huawei, the Chinese technology company that designs and sells telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics. The Trump administration has said it believes the company is a spy for the communist government in Beijing.

Chinese companies are rushing to launch U.S. initial public offerings (IPOs) before newly proposed rules that would expose the companies’ audits to scrutiny by American regulators can take effect.

The potential value of the IPOs soared to more than $5 billion after Trump pitched the new rules last week. Among them include Chinese real estate company KE Holdings, which filed its U.S. IPO July 24. Also included is Xpeng, a manufacturer of electric cars.

If the rules proposed by Trump or similar measures embraced by members of Congress from both major political parties are enacted, Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges would have to allow greater transparency of their accounting.

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump has decided TikTok cannot be allowed to go on as it has been. Mnuchin said the Treasury has the tools it needs to remedy the situation, although he was not specific.