President Donald Trump may take further steps to tighten the noose on more Chinese companies, following the signing of an executive order targeting to ban ByteDance-owned short-video TikTok in the United States. Trump reportedly said that he was planning to ban a slew of Chinese-owned companies including e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Understandably, if such a step in taken, it could further make operations difficult for Chinese companies with substantial presence in the United States. The world's two largest economies have been engaged in a bitter trade spat for the past couple of years, which has further worsened following the coronavirus outbreak, with Washington blaming Beijing for failure in checking the spread of the virus.
More Trouble for Chinese Companies?
Trump was recently asked at a press conference if he was contemplating banning other Chinese companies including Alibaba, to which he replied: "Well, we're looking at other things, yes." However, he didn't specify any names but Alibaba reportedly is on his radar. Trump's has been increasingly mounting pressure on Chinese-owned companies to become more transparent if they plan to continue operating in the United States.
On Friday, he signed an executive order requiring ByteDance to divest its interests in video-sharing app TikTok's operations in the United States within 90 days. "There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance...might take action that that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," Trump said in the order.
However, if he now moves on to put similar sanctions on other Chinese companies, it is only going to make operations difficult for them in the United States. Alibaba has a sizeable presence in the United States and its fate now depends on what Trump does in the coming days.
Tension Mounts for Chinese Companies
Trade relationship between the United States and China has been one of the central themes of Trump's presidency. He has often vented his ire towards the way Chinese companies operate and TikTok has been at the center of the controversy. Trump has time and again warned that China may be using TikTok's data for spying, which has raised suspicion in the minds of other European and Asian nations.
In fact, US tech giant Microsoft is now engaged in talks with ByteDance to buy a controlling stake in TikTok's global operations before the September 15 deadline set by Trump. However, it seems that other Chinese companies may now be in the line of fire and similar fate like TikTok.
Companies like Alibaba, JD.com, and a slew of major Chinese semiconductor companies have a sizeable presence in the United States and a move by Trump to ban them will only further complicate trade relations between the two countries.