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The US government will ban downloads of TikTok and WeChat from Sunday (September 20), a statement from the Department of Commerce has confirmed.
According to The Telegraph, the block comes as TikTok seeks approval from the US government for a deal with American computer corporation Oracle.
The Trump government has forced TikTok to join forces with an American company to ensure that the hugely popular video app does not send user data to China.
Announcing the download ban, the US government said that both apps were “active participants in China’s civil-military fusion” and alleged that they collect “vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories.”
Microsoft had previously planned to step in and lead TikTok’s US operations, but Oracle emerged as the leading contender last week.
The TikTok ban could be reversed by Donald Trump if the US government chooses to approve TikTok’s deal with Oracle.
Anyone in the US who has already downloaded the app will still be able to access it, but removal from the app store could potentially cause software issues.
Wilbur Ross, the US Department of Commerce Secretary, said: “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 US laws and regulations.”
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