American President Donald Trump’s administration announced that both ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat apps would be prohibited from being downloaded via American app stores starting Sunday, September 20.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross 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 U.S. laws and regulations.”
On August 6, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Orders (E.O.) 13942, “Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok”, and E.O. 13943, “Addressing the Threat Posed by WeChat”. In the E.O.s, the President determined “that the apps capture vast swaths of information from U.S. users, leaving the data vulnerable to CCP access for nefarious purposes.”
A statement posted on the U.S. Commerce Department’s website states:
As of September 20, 2020, the following transactions are 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.
As of September 20, 2020, for WeChat and as of November 12, 2020, for TikTok, the following transactions are 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.