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President Trump to Shut off TikTok, WeChat to new U.S. users on Sunday

The Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting Sunday night, a move that will block Americans from downloading the Chinese-owned platforms over concerns they pose a national security threat.

Trump to block TikTok, WeChat downloads Sunday

Trump to block TikTok, WeChat downloads Sunday
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The bans, announced on Friday, affect only new downloads and updates and are less sweeping than expected, particularly for TikTok, giving its parent group ByteDance some breathing space to clinch an agreement over the fate of its U.S. operations.

WeChat, an all-in-one messaging, social media and electronic payment app, faces more severe restrictions from Sunday. Existing TikTok users, on the other hand, will see little change until Nov. 12 when a ban on some technical transactions will kick in, which 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 U.S. from Nov. 12,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the U.S. of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network that “the basic TikTok will stay intact until Nov. 12.”

The ban on new U.S. downloads of the widely popular app could still be rescinded by President Donald Trump before it takes effect if ByteDance seals a deal with Oracle that addresses concerns about the security of its users’ data.

“This is the right move – ratchet up the pressure on Beijing, protect Americans,” said Republican Senator Josh Hawley on Twitter.

The Trump administration has ramped up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks amid escalating tensions with Beijing on a range of issues from trade and human rights to the battle for tech supremacy.

  1. The ban on WeChat, used by over 1 billion people worldwide, bars the transfer of funds or processing of payments to or from people in the United States through it. Users could also start to experience significantly slower service or sporadic outages from Sunday night. – Reuters
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