The US Commerce Department will issue an order that will prevent US citizens from downloading the popular video-sharing app TikTok and Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat from both the Apple Store and Google Play store. The ban could go into affect as soon as Sunday, 20 September according to reports from Reuters.
The ban could, however, be rescinded by President Donald Trump before the 20 September deadline if ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok manages to find an agreement over the fate of its U.S. operations. Over the last few weeks, ByteDance has been engaging in talks with the likes of Oracle and Microsoft over the idea of creating TikTok Global, a newly formed company that meets the Trump administration’s concerns over user data security and privacy.
If the ban does indeed go through, Google and Apple would be banned from hosting the applications on their platforms. They will however still be able to offer TikTok to users outside of the US, like in Europe of Africa for example, according to Reuters.
“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 told Reuters today, 18 September.
The U.S. Commerce Department plans to issue an order today that will bar people in the United States from downloading Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok and messaging app WeChat starting on September 20 https://t.co/zijbvHrt2E 1/3 pic.twitter.com/P84JcvMcW2
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 18, 2020
Apple and Google are yet to respond to the announcement.
Image credit: Twitter/@ajplus