The trade war with China reaches the internet. Tiktok and WeChat affected.
Donald Trump’s government will ban download of WeChat and TikTok applications from stores in his country starting Sunday night, a measure that will prevent Americans from downloading Chinese-owned platforms, fearing they pose a threat to national security. .
The bans, announced on Friday, affect only new downloads and updates and are less drastic than expected, particularly for the video service TikTok. Its parent group ByteDance wants to reach an agreement on the destination of its operations in the United States.
WeChat, an app that brings together messaging, social media, and electronic payment, faces tougher restrictions starting Sunday. TikTok users, on the other hand, will see little change until November 12, when a ban on some technical transactions, which TikTok said would effectively amount to a shutdown, will go into effect.
“We do not agree with the decision of the Department of Commerce, and we are disappointed that it blocks downloads of new applications as of Sunday and prohibits the use of the TikTok application in the United States as of November 12,” the company said. it’s a statement.
“We will continue to challenge the unjust decree, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the country of a meaningful platform for voice and livelihood.”
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network that “Basic TikTok will remain intact until November 12.”
The ban on new downloads of the popular app in the United States could be rescinded by President Donald Trump before it goes into effect if ByteDance seals a deal with Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) that addresses concerns about the security of data from its users.
The Trump administration has stepped up efforts to purge “untrustworthy” Chinese applications from US digital networks, amid mounting tension with Beijing on a number of issues ranging from trade and human rights to the battle for the technological supremacy.
The Commerce Department order prohibits Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL). App store, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Inc.’s Google Play and others from offering the apps on any platform “that may be accessible in the United States. “a senior trade official told Reuters.
While the restrictions are less dramatic than some originally feared, Commerce officials said others could be added later.
TikTok has 100 million users in the United States and is especially popular with young people.
WeChat has had an average of 19 million daily active users in the United States, analytics firm Apptopia said in early August. It is popular with Chinese students, expats, and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China.