The US has banned the video sharing platform TikTok and WeChat applications, which are affiliated with the Chinese company, on the grounds of national security and data security as of Sunday.
Under the published decision, WeChat application is completely banned. The comprehensive ban on the use of Tiktok also takes effect on November 12.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business on Friday that access to the video sharing app would be possible if certain measures were taken.
“We took an important step by defending our national values, our democratic norms, and the strong enforcement of US laws and regulations,” said Minister of Commerce Ross, “as part of the fight against China’s malicious collection of personal data from American citizens, on the President’s instructions.”
Under the ban, Americans will not be able to download these apps from mobile app stores. The ban affects only those who will be downloading new apps and updates related to the app.
It is commented that the announced ban decision is not as harsh as expected, especially for TikTok, and the company named ByteDance, to which TikTok is affiliated, is given time to reach an agreement that will determine the future of its operations in the USA.
Social media messaging and electronic payment platform WeChat, on the other hand, faces wider restrictions. Existing TikTok users, on the other hand, will not notice much change until November 12. Restrictions on certain technical transactions on November 12 are expected to affect the function of the application.
If ByteDance reaches an agreement with Oracle regarding the security of user data, President Donald Trump may step back on bans on these applications.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked whether the TikTok ban was an irreversible step. “I cannot talk about the details of the offers offered,” Pompeo said. But I can say this. Our goal here is very clear. To protect Americans’ information and data and to prevent these data from falling into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. This is our criterion when evaluating the offer and whether we can successfully achieve these goals. In this case, we will let the private sector take this step that protects the American people ”.
Within the scope of the decision regarding WeChat, which is used by more than 1 billion people around the world, it is prohibited to transfer money and make payments from persons or individuals in the USA.
The senior Ministry of Commerce official, who informed Reuters, stated that the decision prohibits Apple’s mobile application store and Google Play from offering these applications to users on platforms accessed from the USA.
Following the announcement of the ban, Oracle’s shares decreased by 0.3 percent.
The decision does not prohibit American companies from doing business with WeChat outside of the US. This is positive news for American companies like Walmart and Starbucks, which use mobile apps within WeChat to enable consumers in China to pay.
US Department of Commerce officials state that they have taken a step at this level because the data collection of these applications poses a risk. China and companies taken under the ban deny that data on US users is used for spying purposes.
No statement has yet been received from Apple and Google on the subject.
TikTok has about 100 million users in the USA
TikTok has approximately 100 million users in the USA. The application is particularly popular with young Americans. WeChat app has an average of 19 million active users per day.
This practice is especially used by Chinese students, foreigners working in the US, and some Americans with personal or business connections in China. Under the decision, the Ministry of Commerce will not force users to delete the application.
Ministry of Commerce official said, “We target the institutional level. We do not target individual users, ”he said. Authorities state that the inability to download updates for the applications will negatively affect the usability of the applications.
Speaking to Reuters, a senior official said, “The expectation is that people find alternative methods to these. We expect the market to act on this issue. We expect safe practices that Americans can trust and that the US government will not have to take action against to fill this gap, ”he said.