This morning, the US Commerce Department has officially announced that it will ban two massively popular applications in the United States — TikTok and WeChat.

As of September 20, 2020, TikTok and WeChat will officially be banned in the United States and stripped from official app stores including the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Starting Sunday, too, WeChat will not be allowed to process any financial transactions in the US.

 In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the US. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality. 

For users that still have TikTok installed, the app will likely stop functioning properly by November 12. The Commerce Department explains that as of November 12 for TikTok and as of September 20 for WeChat, Internet Service Providers will not be able to optimize for the apps or delivering their content. In fact, “any provision” that enables “the function or optimization” of TikTok or WeChat must be discontinued as of those dates.

Notably, TikTok was looking for a US buyer, most recently with Oracle being the company that would take the reins. However, reports earlier this morning claim that Trump rejected that deal. Under the terms of this ban, TikTok could still reach a deal that enables it to keep operations going. WeChat, though, will likely stop working in a matter of days.

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Ben Schoon

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