TikTok and WeChat to be Banned from App Stores in US

The U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday, that TikTok and WeChat will be banned from U.S. app stores by Sunday. This act will bar these Chinese-made apps from accessing internet services in the U.S.

WeChat users could see these effects on the app as early as Sunday. TikTok users however won’t see the ban take place until after the November 3rd election. U.S. officials sited that national security and data privacy concerns were the primary reasons for this order. Specifically, to prevent the Chinese apps from collecting American’s data, according to the Commerce Department.

President Trump threatened to ban TikTok before, asking the app’s owner, ByteDance, to sell part of its operations to a domestic company. ByteDance has not come to any deals yet though with U.S. based companies, and has promised to fight the “unjust executive order.” They have been challenging this ban since President Trump’s first announcement in August.

WeChat and its owner, Tencent, have stated in an email that they are looking for long-term solutions alongside the government. WeChat is a popular app used for messaging, social media and payment purposes, largely in China. Many in the U.S. rely on WeChat for personal and professional interactions at home or around the globe.

There are some experts who disagree with the President’s order to ban these apps. Members from the Center for Strategic and International Studies have questioned the legality of the ban, asking whether or not it could be a violation of the First Amendment. The administration has also yet to reveal any data suggesting TikTok has made U.S. users’ information available to the Chinese government.

Both TikTok and WeChat promise their users to fight the President’s order, until they are officially banned.

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