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TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the US from Sunday

September 18, 2020

The move is being made on behalf of President Trump for “national security” reasons.

3 min read

TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the US from Sunday
TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the US from Sunday

This story originally appeared on Engadget

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores on Sunday, September 20, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) said. Chinese-owned Tencent and ByteDance apps will not only be banned from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, but companies will also not be able to host them in the American Union.

The measure was taken “by order of the President,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Today’s actions show once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to ensure our national security and protect Americans from threats from the Chinese Communist Party,” it said in a statement. “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has shown the means and motives by which these apps threaten national security, foreign policy, and the US economy.”

The ban on the app came despite a possible connection between Oracle and ByteDance. Yesterday, Trump said he loudly disliked this deal Bloombergand added, “I wasn’t ready to sign anything.”

The wording of the DoC makes it clear that apps are set to go away in the US and has not only banned apps, code, and updates, but all payments associated with WeChat. It also prohibits:

Any provision of Internet hosting services that enable the operation or optimization of the mobile application in the USA;
Any provision of network services for the delivery of content that enables the operation or optimization of the mobile application in the United States;
Any provision concluded or arranged directly by Internet transit or peering services that enables the mobile application to function or optimize in the United States;
Any use of the code, functions or services of the mobile application to operate software or services developed and / or accessible in the USA.

All of this means that the White House is trying not to leave any loopholes that allow access to the application. And with ByteDance and its partners dropping the news on Friday and the ban going on Sunday, they have little to no time to try to delay or reverse the decision. It also forces the hosting services to act quickly to remove the app.

TikTok has 100 million users in the United States while WeChat has 19 million daily active users, according to 19C Reuters. The order does not prevent companies from hosting WeChat and TikTok outside of the US, nor does it affect other Tencent games and applications.

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