In a press release on Friday September 18, the department stated: ‘In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.
The following transactions will be prohibited:
- 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.
- Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.
The statement further says that as of September 20 for WeChat and November 12 for TikTok, the following transactions will be prohibited:
- Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
- Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
- Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application within the U.S.;
- Any utilization 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.
These measures ensure TikTok and WeChat will be removed from iOS and Google Play starting Sunday, preventing users from downloading the apps or updating them in the future.
It was also stated that TikTok has until November 12 to resolve the national security concerns it poses. If this is done, the ban may be lifted.
President Trump has repeatedly said that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese internet company ByteDance, poses a national security threat because of its Chinese ties. He advised that TikTok’s US operations be sold to an American company.
The new development comes days after American computer technology giant, Oracle Corporation reportedly won the bidding for TikTok’s US operations after the Chinese app rejected Microsoft.