TikTok and WeChat: to be banned from U.S. app stores Sept.20

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TikTok will be removed from US app stores from midnight on Sunday as Washington implements executive orders from President Donald Trump that also target WeChat, a Chinese social media app.

The Department of Commerce said it would bar people in the US from downloading the messaging and video-sharing apps through any app store on any platform.

In a press release on Friday, September 18, the department stated: ‘In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality

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The Trump administration says the companies threaten national security and could pass user data to China.

WeChat will effectively shut down in the US on September 20, but people will still be able to use TikTok until 12 November, when it could also be fully banned

The following transactions will be prohibited:

  1. Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S.

  2. Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

3, Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;

4, Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;

5, Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application within the U.S.;

6, Any utilization of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the U.S

TikTok said it was “disappointed” in the order and disagreed with the commerce department, saying it had already committed to “unprecedented levels of additional transparency” in light of the Trump administration’s concerns.

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.”

Tencent – the owner of WeChat – said the announced restrictions were “unfortunate”, but said they would continue talks with the US government “to achieve a long-term solution”.

The ban order from the Department of Commerce gives US businesses 45 days to stop working with either Chinese company.

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