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Tim Culpan

Trump Blew Up More Than Just TikTok and WeChat

The latest executive orders targeting China could be deep and damaging. Brace for impact.

Tencent’s stock dropped as much as 10%.

Tencent’s stock dropped as much as 10%.

Photographer: Bloomberg Daybreak

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to ban dealings with ByteDance Ltd., owner of video-sharing sensation TikTok, appears to codify what his administration has already been warning. A second edict targeting messaging app WeChat and its parent, Tencent Holdings Ltd., seems weirdly overdue.

The executive orders issued by the White House go beyond stopping average Americans from becoming unwitting spies for the Communist Party through their postings and data. The implications could hurt not only the Chinese targets, but the U.S. companies they work with, including Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.