TikTok, WeChat to be inaccessible to new US users from Sunday as Trump ban kicks in
WASHINGTON (US) – The Trump administration has decided to ban WeChat and short-format video-sharing app TikTok from US app stores starting Sunday night. This comes over fears that they pose a threat to national security as user information could be accessed by China.
However, the ban, which was announced on Friday, will affect only new downloads and they are less sweeping than expected, especially for TikTok, giving its parent firm ByteDance breathing space to strike a deal over the future of its operations in the US.
WeChat will face more severe curbs from Sunday while TikTok users will notice hardly any change until Nov. 12 when a ban on some technical deals comes into force. This, TikTok said, would amount to an effective ban.
“We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the US from Nov. 12,” the firm said in a statement. “We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order.”
Beijing’s Commerce Ministry expressed its “resolute opposition” to the ban and urged Washington to stop its bullying tactics.
“If the US side obstinately clings to its course, China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” the ministry said.