The US Commerce Department ban on TikTok and WeChat will take effect this Sunday. The two Chinese app has been accused of illigal and malicious collection of personal data, which is a violation of privacy. The bans which only affect TikTok and WeChat operations within the US is coming after the Indian government did the same.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said;
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.
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. 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.
The ban will prohibit Tik Tok and WeChat from distributing or maintaining any applications, constituent code, or giving any application updates. It will also stop WeChat from transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.
WeChat faces harsher restrictions – the new rules make it illegal to transfer internet traffic from WeChat or using any code or services from the app, including transferring funds and processing payments.
These rules will be applied to TikTok on November 12 as well if owner ByteDance hasn’t reached an agreement to sell the US operations to an American company. This seems to be a grace period to not hamper negotiations, but it may be in vain.