Unless a last-minute deal is agreed, President Trump is going to ban ultra-popular Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat from the U.S. starting Sunday, the Department of Commerce announced Friday.
TikTok is consistently the most downloaded non-gaming app in the world. In the U.S., it currently has around 100 million monthly users. WeChat, while nowhere near as big in the U.S., is China’s most important app and widely used by many Chinese-Americans to communicate with friends and family back home.
Trump’s ban will block the apps from being distributed on either the Google Play or iOS App Store. This will apply only for the United States and not, as originally feared, international app stores. The ban is based on security concerns expressed by the Trump administration.
The U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that, “At the president’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data.”
The developers behind TikTok and WeChat have both refuted claims that the apps are non-secure and violate user data.
The ban on TikTok could be avoided if Trump signs off on a deal that will make U.S.-based Oracle TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in North America. The deal was reported earlier this week. Before Oracle swooped in, many assumed that Microsoft could acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations. Trump will reportedly review the Oracle deal before Sunday’s deadline.
What are your predictions for the outcome of the current U.S. vs. TikTok and WeChat battle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Source: BBC News