The Department of Commerce today declared a ban on American business transactions with Chinese-owned social apps on Sunday, WeChat and TikTok.
The announcement is in advance of President Donald Trump ‘s expected declaration on Friday whether or not the government will accept an agreement to take a minority interest of Oracle in TikTok and become a “trustworthy technology partner” for the US group. A media conference with Trump was confirmed at 2p.m by the White House. Friday Eastern.
The announcements made by the Commerce Department allow for an arrangement to be entered into before the Sunday deadline and the Trump administration could be an aggressive attempt to drive forward its original purpose to compel TikTok to be completely owned by a US business.
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“We have taken major measures in the President’s direction to tackle China’s malicious collection of American citizen’s personal data, supporting our national ideals, democratic rules based principles, and the effective implementation of US laws and regulations.”
The change is the executive order of Trump on 6 August, which required TikTok 45 days to sell the business to a U.S. company or face a ban in this country. It is Sunday that ends the 45-day cycle. WeChat is owned by the Chinese corporation Tencent as one of the world’s leading social media software. The parent company of TikTok is ByteDance, Beijing-based. Trump’s Executive Order cited national security concerns regarding access to user data by the Chinese government in these applications as a reason for the possible prohibition.
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Commerce declaration says that US companies will not distribute WeChat and TikTok from beginning Sunday, meaning that Apple and Google’s two leading mobile app stores will need to delete the apps from their libraries. In addition, the declaration prevents U.S. businesses from offering services “in order to move funds or process payments in the US” through WeChat.
But it also sets out a different TikTok-specific time period, which allows for the United States to be resolved by 12 November. The rules which start on 12 November include provisions prohibiting U.S. companies from providing TikTok with internet hosting and services. This could be guided to the TikTok-Oracle agreement that will provide TikTok with cloud services, if Trump agrees, which will allow TikTok which Oracle more time to conclude an agreement which will satisfy its president.
Ross said in an interview with Fox Business on Friday that bans would have a different effect on TikTok and WeChat. He said that TikTok still works, but users can’t update the software.
Ross told Fox, “TikTok doesn’t do the same thing as weChat.” “As far as TikTok is concerned, it’s just updates, maintenance items like that, which are shut down now. After November 12 the actual shutdown will occur if no other transaction occurs. So how the two are handled is very different.
Officials of the ICommerce Department who spoke with journalists on a condition of anonymity Friday disputed somewhat Ross’ claims on Fox Business and said that neither TikTok nor WeChat will be available for download at midnight on Sunday.
Officials have also confirmed that WeChat will remain working for users who have it installed on their devices, but issues will occur because WeChat uses U.S. corporate services to provide data in the app. Officials said TikTok will still be running on your computer after Sunday, but will stop functioning after 12 November unless an agreement is reached before then, or Trump cancels its Executive Order.
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For US businesses, WeChat is a common marketing and sales tool primarily in China, but also worldwide. WeChat is the primary application people use for social communication and e-commerce with US social applications like Facebook and Instagram banned in China. Even in the U.S., it is common to connect with Chinese people, since American apps in China are prohibited.
The Nov. 12 deadline for TikTok is more than a week after the Nov. 3 presidential election, which means that Trump would not be accused of banning a famous app that 100 million Americans used before casting their votes. Trump Optimistic Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said he advised the president not to ban Tiktok in an interview published on the snapchat last month.
TikTok has already made several compromises in an e-mailed statement to resolve the security issues posed by the Trump Administration, including a US company hosting its information and services.
This is TikTok’s complete statement:
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 US from November 12. Our community of 100 million U.S. users love TikTok because it’s a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection, and we’re committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.
In our proposal to the U.S. Administration, we’ve already committed to unprecedented levels of additional transparency and accountability well beyond what other apps are willing to do, including third-party audits, verification of code security, and U.S. government oversight of U.S. data security. Further, an American technology provider would be responsible for maintaining and operating the TikTok network in the U.S., which would include all services and data serving US consumers. 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 US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.
Representatives for Tencent, Apple and Google were not immediately available to comment. TikTok’s interim boss Vanessa Pappas, in a reply to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, called on Facebook to join its lawsuit against the U.S., which claims the company wasn’t allowed due process ahead of a ban. Mosseri told TNN last week that a TikTok ban would be bad for Instagram and Facebook, since it would lead to a country-by-country regulation of the internet.