The US Commerce Department said: It will issue an order Friday to prevent people in the United States from downloading Video sharing app (TikTok), owned by the Chinese company (ByteDance), and the instant messaging application (WeChatWeChat, owned by the Chinese company (Tencent), as of September 20.
Commerce Department officials said the ban on new US downloads of the TikTok app could be revoked by President Donald Trump before it comes into effect late Sunday if ByteDance makes an agreement on the fate of its US operations.
ByteDance has held talks with Oracle and other companies to create a new company called TikTok Global, which aims to address US concerns about the security of its users’ data. The company still needs Trump’s approval to stave off the U.S. ban.
Trade officials said they will not block additional technical transactions for the TikTok app until November 12, giving the company additional time to see if ByteDance will reach a deal for its US operations. “The primary TikTok will remain as it is until November 12th,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network.
The ministry said: The measures “will protect users in the United States by eliminating access to these applications and greatly reducing their functionality.”
A senior trade official said Told Reuters: The Ministry of Commerce order will lead to “canceling the platform” for the two applications in the United States and preventing the App Store from Apple, and the Google Play Store from Google and other applications on any platform “that can be accessed from within the United States.”
Officials said: The matter will not prevent American companies from doing business on WeChat outside the United States, and this is seen as good news for American companies, such as Walmart and Starbucks, who are using the WeChat mini programs included in it to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China.
The order will not prevent transactions with other companies affiliated with Tencent, including: Online gaming operations, and will not prevent Apple and Google or others from offering TikTok and WeChat anywhere outside the United States.
It is noteworthy that the ban came in response to executive orders issued by Trump on August 6, and the Ministry of Commerce gave 45 days to determine which transactions should be blocked from applications that were considered a threat to national security. The deadline expires next Sunday.
Commerce Department officials said they are taking an unusual step because of the risks posed by app data collection. China and the companies have denied collecting US spy user data.
“We have taken significant measures to combat China’s malicious collection of personal data of American citizens while promoting our national values, democratic rule-based standards, and strict enforcement of US laws and regulations,” Ross said in a written statement.