TikTok And WeChat Banned From US App Stores After September 20
By order of the Trump administration, you won't be able to download WeChat and TikTok from US App stores anymore.
TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores starting Sunday, September 20, per order of the Trump administration.
Regarding further restrictions, TikTok and WeChat's situations differ slightly. According to the US Department of Commerce's press release, WeChat looks to not only be kicked off of US app stores, but also immediately disabled in the US starting September 20. TikTok has an extension until November 12 to address security concerns before the same prohibitions applied to WeChat will also affect it.
For both, starting September 20, any service that transfers funds or processes payments within the U.S. will be prohibited. But for WeChat, the restriction will ban internet hosting services, content delivery network services, and internet transit or peering services. Additionally, the app's code, functions, or services cannot be used in other software or services in the US.
According to the above prohibitions, WeChat will not work at all for US users after September 20. In an interview with Fox Business News, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also stated, "For all practical purposes it will be shut down in the US, but only in the US, as of midnight Monday." Tencent, WeChat's owner, has not issued a statement yet.
TikTok, on the other hand, will function mostly normally until the November 12 deadline, with the exception being that no security patches or software updates can be implemented. TikTok was in acquisition talks with Oracle and Microsoft, but ByteDance, TikTok's owner, rejected Microsoft's offer. It also appears that Oracle will not buy TikTok outright and looks to instead become the app's "trusted tech partner" in the US. What the two companies' working relationship looks like is still unclear, but if the administration believes the security concerns are resolved by TikTok and Oracle's "partnership," then TikTok could continue operating in the US.
In a statement to the New York Times, TikTok responded to the app store ban: "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 US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods."
The ban comes after Trump's executive order on August 6. In it, he argued that TikTok and WeChat collect users' data, which could then be accessed and used by the Chinese government. Ross also said in a statement, justifying the Trump administration's actions by claiming that, "Today's actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party."
For the millions of WeChat users in the US, the app will no longer function after September 20. As for TikTok's future beyond November 12, we'll have to wait and see if the Trump administration will approve of Oracle and TikTok's partnership.
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