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Trump Admin To Ban TikTok And WeChat From US App Stores

Trump Admin To Ban TikTok And WeChat From US App Stores

Trump Admin To Ban TikTok And WeChat From US App Stores
Photo Illustration by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starting Sunday, TikTok and WeChat will no longer be available to download from U.S. app stores.

The Trump administration will be banning TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores beginning this weekend.

In a report from CNBC, the Commerce Department announced that it will ban U.S. business transactions with the two apps on Sunday.

“At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the announcement.

The announcement comes as Donald Trump is expected to speak on whether or not the government will approve a deal for Oracle, the computer software company, to take a minority stake in TikTok. The Trump administration had originally intended to force TikTok to become fully owned by a U.S. company, with Trump issuing an executive order back on August 6 that gave the social media app 45 days to sell its U.S. business to an American company or face a ban in the U.S. The executive order cited national security concerns over the Chinese government’s access to user data in those apps — WeChat is owned by the Chinese company Tencent, while TikTok’s parent company is Beijing-based ByteDance — to justify the ban.

Although both apps are being banned, the real shutdown for TikTok won’t happen until November 12. The shutdown will happen if the app fails to resolve the U.S. national security concerns. Per CNBC:

The rules that start Nov. 12 include provisions that block U.S. companies from providing internet hosting and services for TikTok. This could be directed at the deal being negotiated between TikTok and Oracle, which would provide cloud services for TikTok if Trump approves, and could give TikTok and Oracle more time to hammer out a deal that will satisfy the president.

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Josh Gartner, a spokesman for TikTok, spoke with the New York Times in a separate report about the Commerce Department’s decision.

“We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the U.S. of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods,” Gartner said.

 

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