The U.S. Commerce Department announced this morning that it will ban people in the U.S. from downloading TikTok and WeChat on September 20, following the executive order Donald Trump signed on August 6.
U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that “Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party. At the President’s direction, 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.”
Bloomberg News had reported on Thursday that US President Donald Trump’s ban on China-based messaging app WeChat may face a temporary halt by a US judge because it is too vague.
The Department said that “Each [Tiktok and WeChat] collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories. Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP. This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security.”
The Commerce Department will not block additional technical transactions for TikTok until November 12, which gives the company additional time to see if ByteDance can reach a deal for its U.S. operations. Ross said to Fox Business Network that “The basic TikTok will stay intact until Nov. 12.
According to the people familiar with the matter, TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance is planning to hold a U.S. initial public offering of TikTok Global, the new company which will operate the short video app, if the proposed deal is cleared by the United States government.
Officials also said the ban will not affect U.S. companies from doing businesses on WeChat outside the United States like Starbuck and Walmart that use WeChat’s embedded ‘mini-app’ programs, officials said. The order will not also block transactions with Tencent Holdings’ other businesses, including its online gaming operations.