Politico said it was not clear how much detail Mr Trump would provide in his announcement, but that officials expected US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open a Section 301 probe.
Trump's memo comes amid heightened tensions between the USA and North Korea and increasing frustration in the White House that China has not done more to rein in Pyongyang.
US President Donald Trump is tomorrow to call for his chief trade adviser to investigate China's intellectual property practices, Web site Politico reported, citing an unnamed administration official.
Trump informed Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday night of the upcoming memorandum, a senior administration official told CNN Friday.
Administration officials, however, said that that call focused on Washington's current tensions with North Korea and an official readout of the conversation provided by the White House did not mention China's trade practices.
"President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior", the statement said.
The United States has a long list of grievances about China on trade, including accusations of steel dumping and theft of USA intellectual property.
Should an investigation find wrongdoing, Trump could impose tariffs against Chinese imports, which would mark a significant escalation in his efforts to reshape the trade relationship between the world's two largest economies. He said it would be premature to speculate on actions that could eventually be taken against China, and added that the issue could be resolved through "negotiated agreement".
If Trump announces the investigation, it would come at a time Trump and members of his administration have called on China to do more to rein in North Korea amid recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
A 2013 report by a commission co-chaired by Jon Huntsman, ambassador to China under President Barack Obama and Trump's nominee to be Russian envoy, pegged the losses from US intellectual property theft at hundreds of billions of dollars annually, costing the USA economy millions of jobs. "They know how I feel", Mr Trump told reporters last Thursday.
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a popular trade tool in the 1980s that has been rarely used in the past decade, allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect USA industries from "unfair trade practices" of foreign countries. If an investigation begins, the US government could seek remedies either through the World Trade Organization or outside of it.
But the USA has rarely used that obsolete trade law since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) came into effect in 1995. "If China helps us, I feel a lot different towards trade".
In addition to the USA, the European Union, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern about China's behaviour on IP theft. The technology sector has been especially hard hit by such disputes.