Just when you thought TikTok and WeChat were in the clear, think again. The services are about to get banned, again. On Friday, The United States Commerce Department announced it would ban downloads of the two Chinese-owned social networking tools. The first stages of this ban would go into effect starting on Sunday.
Users who already have the apps on their phones will be able to keep using social networks. They won’t be able to install updated versions of the app when they are released. Speaking on Fox Business, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed that “the only real change as of Sunday night will be [TikTok users] won’t have access to improved apps, updated apps, upgraded apps or maintenance.”
WeChat, which many Chinese people use to communicate with families and businesses at home, is subjected to stricter sanctions than TikTok. Starting on Sunday, US-based companies can no longer host or transfer any internet traffic between WeChat clients. This ban essentially cripples the use of WeChat in the United States.
TikTok can continue to operate in the United States until November 12th. On that date, the service will be subject to similar restrictions as WeChat.
Thankfully, this ban may never go into effect as Oracle is allegedly poised to buy a minority stake in TikTok, owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance.
If the Trump administration approves the deal, then Oracle will become a trusted partner in the United States for the Chinese-based company.
These sanctions result from an executive order issued on August 6th by US President Donald Trump. The order gave TikTok 45 days to sell its US business to a company in the United States. This 45-day period ends on Sunday.
In his executive order, Trump claimed the services posed a national security threat. He cited concerns that the Chinese government had access to the data stored by the social network service.