US Downloads of TikTok and WeChat to Be Banned on Sunday

The U.S. Commerce Department is moving to ban downloads of TikTok and WeChat within the United States from this Sunday (via Reuters).

tiktok logo

The U.S. Commerce Department plans to issue an order today that will "deplatform" WeChat and TikTok by banning people in the United States from downloading the apps. The order will take effect from Sunday, September 20.

U.S. government officials speaking to Reuters said that the ban on downloads of TikTok could still be rescinded before it takes effect late on Sunday, providing that TikTok owner ByteDance can agree on a deal to sell its U.S. operations.

Commerce Department officials said they were taking the unprecedented step of banning the apps because of the risks posed by their data collection practices and Chinese ownership. ByteDance and WeChat-owner Tencent Holdings have repeatedly denied that U.S. data collection is used for spying.

"We have taken significant action to combat China's malicious collection of American citizens' personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

ByteDance has been in serious talks with U.S. cloud computing company Oracle for some time, and proposed an agreement to form a new company called "TikTok Global," in order to address U.S. security concerns. ByteDance still requires the approval of President Donald Trump to acquiesce to a deal and prevent a ban, and there is doubt about whether an agreement will be reached.

All domestic app stores, including the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, will be compelled to remove both apps on any platform "that can be reached from within the United States." Other apps from ByteDance and Tencent, such as games, will continue to be available under this order.

The order will only ban the apps within the United States, and U.S. companies, such as Walmart and Starbucks, will still be able to conduct business using TikTok and WeChat outside of the U.S. as they currently do.

The Commerce Department also said that it will not seek to compel people in the United States to remove the apps or stop using them, but it will forbid further updates or new downloads. A Commerce official said "We are aiming at a top corporate level. We're not going to go out after the individual users."

The order will also bar "additional technical transactions," "content delivery services," "peering services," and data hosting within the United States, meaning that the usability and functionality of the apps for those who already have them in the United States will degrade significantly. For TikTok, to give more time to secure a deal, the degradation in existing service will not take place until November 12.

It is unclear if the news from U.S. Commerce Department officials is intended to serve as a warning-shot to hasten a deal for TikTok with Oracle, or if the White House, dissatisfied with Oracle's proposal, is truly seeking to ban TikTok outright. WeChat is not being considered for an acquisition deal and therefore cannot avoid the ban.

President Trump initially issued an executive order on August 6 that gave the Commerce Department 45 days to determine what apps posed a national security threat. This is why the ban comes into effect on Sunday. Today's new order is set to be published in full at 8:45 a.m. EDT.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Dwalls90 Avatar
18 months ago

What I find interesting is that you equate the US government's banning of these apps for the stated desire of protecting American citizens from snooping by the CCP to the Chinese government's banning of other apps and services for the stated desire of not being able to have a back door to further snoop on their own citizens.

You can argue whether or not the US government is being disingenuous in this, but the two situations aren't, from a stated purpose, apples to apples.
But you're fine with Facebook, a company that has been proven to have been complicit in the interference of American democracy and harvests as much data as Tik Tok, to not be subject to a similar ban, simply because they are a US company? You're fine with the US government having the same level of information on you that the CCP may have access to? Once data is taken, it is almost impossible to protect from being shared or hacked. I promise you that any data of you that has been collected by a US company, has been hacked at least once if not various times by a foreign country (China, Russia, etc.).

EDIT: The irony of the situation is that Facebook (a company that also benefits from this, since they just released Instagram Reels, which competes against Tik Tok) Stoked Washington’s Fears About TikTok ('https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-stoked-washingtons-fears-about-tiktok-11598223133'). It's starting to feel like Trump and Zuckerberg are basically in bed together. Zuckerberg gets richer, while Trump gets to benefit from Facebook's election interference.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
18 months ago
What I find interesting is that a lot of the same people who defend this throw a fit when China does similar.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
18 months ago
Then ban Facebook, Google and all the other American Apps too.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ugahairydawgs Avatar
18 months ago

What I find interesting is that a lot of the same people who defend this throw a fit when China does similar.
What I find interesting is that you equate the US government's banning of these apps for the stated desire of protecting American citizens from snooping by the CCP to the Chinese government's banning of other apps and services for the stated desire of not being able to have a back door to further snoop on their own citizens.

You can argue whether or not the US government is being disingenuous in this, but the two situations aren't, from a stated purpose, apples to apples.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
18 months ago

What I find interesting is that you equate the US government's banning of these apps for the stated desire of protecting American citizens from snooping by the CCP to the Chinese government's banning of other apps and services for the stated desire of not being able to have a back door to further snoop on their own citizens.

You can argue whether or not the US government is being disingenuous in this, but the two situations aren't, from a stated purpose, apples to apples.
Let’s be real, Trump got butthurt he got trolled over tiktok for his Oklahoma rally. That’s what happened.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MLVC Avatar
18 months ago

So Chinese people in USA buying the iPhone 12 will be unable to download WeChat to talk with their friends and family?

Sounds like more people will buy Samsung phones from now on.
How exactly will buying a Samsung circumvent this?
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

indian flag

India Bans 118 Apps, Including PUBG Mobile

Wednesday September 2, 2020 7:40 am PDT by
India has today banned 118 apps, including the popular game PUBG Mobile, according to Medianama. The apps were accused of being engaged in activities "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order" by the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Thus far, the Indian government has banned 224 apps this year, mainly...
tiktok logo

China Refuses to Accept 'Theft' of TikTok if US Acquisition Goes Ahead

Tuesday August 4, 2020 4:38 am PDT by
Yesterday we reported on Microsoft's accelerated efforts to purchase TikTok in the United States before President Trump follows through on a threat to ban the Chinese-owned app in the country. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that China's ruling Communist Party blasted those efforts via an editorial in the China Daily newspaper, saying it will not accept the "theft" of a Chinese tech company...
tiktok logo

Trump Administration Considers Global TikTok App Store Ban

Wednesday August 12, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
A new document outlining the potential scope of President Trump's TikTok ban suggests Apple could be forced to remove the short-form video sharing platform from its App Store in China. Trump last week signed an executive order that would officially ban any U.S. transactions with TikTok if its Chinese parent ByteDance does not reach a deal to divest it to a U.S. company in 45 days....
tiktok logo

Trump Administration Appeals Latest Court Order Blocking TikTok Ban

Tuesday December 29, 2020 3:03 am PST by
The Department of Justice this week formally appealed a judge's order that blocks restrictions on TikTok by the U.S. government, according to a new court filing, in a continuation of the Trump administration's campaign against the short-form video sharing platform (via CNN). Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols issued an order blocking the Department of Commerce's...
alipay wechat pay

Trump Signs Executive Order to Ban US Transactions With WeChat Pay and 7 Other Chinese Apps

Wednesday January 6, 2021 1:19 am PST by
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps, including WeChat Pay and AliPay (via Reuters). The order prohibits all U.S. transactions with the companies behind the apps, the full list of which includes Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office. The order tasks the Commerce...
tiktok logo

Second Federal Judge Rules Against Trump Order to Ban TikTok

Tuesday December 8, 2020 2:15 am PST by
A federal judge on Monday blocked the Trump administration's attempt to ban new downloads of TikTok in the United States, the latest defeat in the White House's efforts to outlaw the app in the country (via TechCrunch). President Trump in August signed an executive order that would officially ban any U.S. transactions with TikTok if its Chinese parent ByteDance did not reach a deal to divest ...
tiktok logo

Trump Plans to Ban TikTok From the U.S.

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:13 am PDT by
President Trump plans to ban TikTok from the United States, NBC News reports. Aboard Air Force One on Friday night, Trump reportedly said "As far as TikTok is concerned we're banning them from the United States." He described the action as a "severance" and said that an executive order enforcing the ban could be signed as soon as today. "I have that authority," he said. In recent weeks, ...
tiktok logo

Oracle Reportedly Agrees Deal for TikTok's US Operations, But Chinese Media Cast Doubt on Any Sale

Monday September 14, 2020 3:31 am PDT by
Amid reports Monday morning that Oracle has won the battle with Microsoft to acquire TikTok's U.S. operations, China's state-run English TV channel is claiming that no sale with any U.S. buyer will go ahead (via Reuters). ByteDance will not sell TikTok's U.S. operations to Oracle Corp ORCL.N or Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and will not give the source code for the video platform to any U.S. buyers,...

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...