The U.S. government will block the downloads of TikTok, WeChat this coming Sunday
Early this week, we wrote about TikTok after the Chinese social app reached a deal to sell its U.S. operations to Oracle. Now, it seems the deal might hit a roadblock. This morning, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it would ban U.S. business transactions with Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok effective Sunday, Sept. 21, 2020
The announcement comes ahead of an expected statement Friday by President Donald Trump on whether or not the government will approve a deal for Oracle to take a minority stake in TikTok and become a “trusted technology partner” for the company in the U.S.
At this point, it’s unclear if the Commerce Department’s announcement means the TikTok’s deal with Oracle will go through before the Sunday deadline, and it could be an aggressive move from the Trump Administration to push for its original intention for TikTok to be fully owned by a U.S. company.
“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.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement Friday.
The U.S. government has criticized the app’s security and privacy, suggesting that user data might be shared with Beijing. TikTok has said it would not comply with any request to share user data with the Chinese authorities. TikTok has denied that it would hand over data, which it stressed is stored outside China.