The US government has banned the distribution of the TikTok and WeChat apps within the US. As a result, it means that Google and Apple have to remove the apps from the Play Store and App Store.
The US Department of Commerce says the distribution of the app or updates to it will be banned from Sunday. In addition, for WeChat, the app may no longer offer services that have to do with money.
The ban has to do with US President Donald Trump’s decree last month, in which he said that TikTok and WeChat would be banned from September 20. With the new rules, the government is complying with that threat.
It is still possible that the rule will not apply to TikTok. Trump is expected to review a proposal from Oracle later in the day Friday to partner with parent company ByteDance, with various safeguards for the U.S. government to oversee TikTok’s software. Details of that proposal came out earlier.
The US government says it is concerned about the possibility that user data can be passed on to the Chinese government. However, the order may also be motivated by the trade war in which the two countries are embroiled: the US previously placed smartphone and network equipment manufacturer Huawei on the list of companies with which American companies are not allowed to trade, with dire consequences. TikTok has already been banned in India.