It’s official, US app stores can’t do business with TikTok and WeChat from Monday

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The US Department of Commerce has this afternoon announced that, in response to an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, as of 20th September TikTok and WeChat would be barred from doing business with US app stores.

The ban for TikTok and WeChat differ slightly with some restrictions coming into effect on 20th September.

As regarding which bans take effect on Monday, the Department of Commerce outlined the following:

  1. Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S.;
  2. Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

This means that neither WeChat nor TikTok will receive any updates as of Monday.

The next batch of restrictions comes into effect on a different day depending on the app.

As of 20th September for WeChat and 12th November for TikTok, the following is prohibited:

  1. Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  2. Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  3. Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimisation of the mobile application within the U.S.;
  4. Any utilisation of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the U.S.

Accompanied with these restrictions was a quote from US Department of Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross.

“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,” said Ross.

“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,” he secretary added.

It might just be us but those quotes (taken directly for the department’s website) sound similar to something another government might say. You know, a government mentioned in Ross’ quotes.

One ray of light for TikTokers is that according to a report from The New York Times, if TikTok and Oracle can clear up national security concerns, the prohibitions could be lifted.

We’re curious to see how this announcement affects other countries outside of the US.

[Image – CC BY 2.0 Gage Skidmore]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.