U.S. to Block Dowloads of TikTok and WeChat

The U.S administration will start to ban TikTok and WeChat from the U.S app stores starting Monday night. This move will eventually block millions of Americans from downloading these Chinese own platforms, due to the concerns related to national security.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department officials, TikTok users will see little change on Sunday. However, they won’t bar any additional technical transactions for TikTok until 12th November, providing the company a much needed time to convince its owner ByteDance to come into an agreement over the fate of its U.S. operations.

However, ByteDance has been in talks with Oracle Corp in order to create a new company named TikTok Global, that will aim to address the concerns about the security of its users’ data.

According to a senior commerce official, the order basically prohibits Google’s Play, Apple’s App Store, and other app stores from offering the apps on any platform “that can be reached from within the United States.” The department also added this action will “protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.”

However, this order won’t ban any U.S. company from doing business on WeChat outside the United States of America. This move will probably be hailed by Starbucks and Walmart, who use WeChat to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in Mainland China.

It also needs to be noted, this ban on TikTok and WeChat, won’t effect Tencent’s other businesses in the U.S. This order won’t prohibit Google, Apple, and others from offering these WeChat and TikTok anywhere outside the U.S.

The ban comes after a pair of executive orders issued by the American president Donald Trump on 6th August, which gave the department 45 days to determine what needs to be blocked from the apps, Trump deemed to pose a threat to the national security. However, Apple and Google refused to comment on the ban.

Currently, more than 100 million Americans use TikTok and WeChat has an average of 19 million active users in the U.S. WeChat is mainly popular amongst the Chinese students and few Americans who have a business and personal relationships with China.

Even before the U.S. banned the download of these two apps, the Indian Government banned both the apps and a hundred others after a border standoff with China. India recently blocked, TikTok, WeChat, PubG, Mi Browser, and several other Chinese apps.

Contrary to India’s ban on Chinese apps, The Commerce Department Won’t compel people to stop using these apps, but it won’t allow any new updates or downloads of these apps, which will degrade their usability over time.

“We are aiming at a top corporate level. We’re not going to go out after the individual users,” one Commerce official said.

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