Trump to block TikTok, WeChat downloads starting on Sunday

by Jordyn Pair · Sep 18th, 2020 9:49 am
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Last Updated Sep 19th, 2020 at 12:32 pm

The U.S. will ban transactions with WeChat and TikTok beginning on Sunday, the Commerce Department announced on Friday.

The announcement comes ahead of an expected statement from President Trump on whether technology company Oracle will be allowed to take a minority stake in the Chinese-owned TikTok.

It is not yet clear if the Commerce Department's announcement means there is not a possibility for Oracle's deal to go through before Sunday or if it means the Trump administration will be sticking with its original intention for the video app to be fully owned by a U.S. company.

"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 a statement Friday.

Starting September 20, the app stores run by Google and Apple will have to remove TikTok and WeChat from their selection, although TikTok will still function if already downloaded onto the phone. New rules take effect on November 12 that blocks U.S. from providing internet hosting and services for TikTok. It is unclear what functionality previously downloaded versions of WeChat will have starting on September 20.

The shutdown follows an executive order from Trump on August 6 that gave TikTok 45 days to sell to a U.S. company or face a ban. The order cited national security concerns as its justification for the ban.


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