Downloading the Chinese messaging app WeChat will also be banned, the Commerce Department said, citing threats to “US national security, foreign policy and economy.”
Downloads of Chinese applications TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the United States from Sunday, the Commerce Department said on Friday (09/18/2020), citing threats to “national security.”
“The Communist Party of China has shown that it has the means and the intention to use these applications to threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” the department said in a statement.
The United States thus fulfills the threat that the president, Donald Trump wielded against these two Chinese applications, in a context of great tensions between the two economic giants.
Washington does, however, leave a door open for TikTok, a very popular app for young people to share short videos, before completely banning it from operating on its territory.
“The president leaves until Nov. 12 to resolve the national security issues raised by TikTok. The bans could be lifted if necessary,” the Commerce Department said.
TikTok, which belongs to the Chinese group ByteDance, has been operating under conditions in the United States since the beginning of August.
Trump, who accuses him of spying for the Chinese government, then signed a decree to demand the sale of his American activities before September 20, under penalty of prohibition in the country.
“Although the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are not identical, they are similar. Each collects significant amounts of user data,” the Commerce Department noted.
The WeChat platform, which belongs to the Chinese giant Tencent, is ubiquitous in Chinese people’s lives for messaging, remote payments, and reservations, among other uses.