Trump's announcement was no joke, let alone his executive order signed on August 6. Order that will take effect from next Sunday: TikTok and WeChat will be outlawed and it will no longer be possible to download them in the USA .
A digital cold war that goes from words to deeds. The US government's Department of Commerce announced with an official statement that Trump's order is confirmed , effectively blocking all downloads and use of the two applications.
Trump bans TikTok and WeChat: the official order
"Today's actions prove once again that the president will do everything in his power to ensure national security and to protect Americans from threats from the Chinese Communist Party," said Wilbur Ross, Secretary of the Commerce Department. The US president, after accusing ByteDance of collecting US citizen data by bypassing Google controls , made his decision and banned TikTok and WeChat (owned by Tencent).
The two applications are accused by Trump of collecting user data, such as various network activities, location information and web history. According to a Wall Street research, ByteDance circumvented Google policies using a technique banned by the US company.
The White House has upped the ante by saying they are concerned about the purposes for which the data could be used. The US government's fear is that the Chinese government will use this information to create dossiers of individual users , then using them for espionage or threats.
The ban on TikTok and WeChat could still be overturned if ByteDance and Tencent accept the deal with Oracle. Trump's request is in fact to sell part of the shares to the US giant. Even though ByteDance had already accepted and was ready to be bought by Oracle, Beijing's no came loud and clear, and the government blocked the transaction . Selling part of the company would also mean providing source code to the US government, a condition the Chinese government does not want to comply with.
Trump, therefore, does not stop and bans TikTok and WeChat indefinitely. From September 20, things will change , unless a new agreement between Beijing and Washington. The two sides, however, seem immovable for the moment, and in the face of the coercive practices of the USA against the two apps, China moves away. Beijing Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said:
"The unreasonable repression and intimidation of non-US companies demonstrates the true intentions of some US politicians and the ugly face of economic bullying"
As long as the two governments fail to agree on a solution, support for the two applications will cease. In detail, from 20 September :
- all services to distribute and maintain WeChat and TikTok and updates from American stores will be blocked;
- all WeChat transactions used to transfer funds and process payments in the United States will be blocked.
Also, from September 20th for WeChat and from November 12th for TikTok :
- all hosting services that allow the operation or optimization of the two applications will be blocked;
- all distributed server platforms (CDNs) that allow the operation or optimization of the two applications will be blocked;
- any contract with suppliers or peer-to-peer services that allow the operation or optimization of the two applications will be blocked;
- any use of software code, functions or services of the two applications within the United States will be blocked.
Trump also has the authority to apply the same restrictions and prohibitions to any other application that carries out operations deemed illegal by the US government.
The Trump article bans TikTok and WeChat: download banned from September 20 comes from TechCuE .