US bans WeChat, TikTok from app stores

Tiktok stock photo on smartphone

  • The US has banned TikTok and WeChat from US app stores.
  • It’s also barred the WeChat app from conducting transactions in the US.

The US government said it would ban TikTok by September 15 if a deal wasn’t reached by then. The rising video platform then announced a partnership with Oracle, pending US approval. Unfortunately, it looks like that wasn’t enough to save it from sanctions.

The US Department of Commerce has announced that both TikTok and messaging app WeChat are barred from US app stores such as the Play Store and Apple App Store as of September 20. Furthermore, the WeChat app is also barred from conducting transactions in the US as of this date.

As of September 20 for WeChat and November 12 for TikTok, both are prohibited from using US hosting services, content delivery network services, and peering services for their apps as well.

The Department of Commerce claimed that this move was conducted in the name of national security:

While the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are not identical, they are similar. Each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories. Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP.  This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security.

The department also notes that President Donald Trump has given TikTok until November 12 to resolve the apparent national security concerns. It adds that if the concerns are resolved, then this order “may be lifted.”

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