TikTok and WeChat will no longer be available in the US app stores – Apple’s App Store and Google Play – as of September 20, 2020, due to the new ban that President Trump has put in place.
It appears that the deal ByteDancedidwith Oracle was not enough to keep the app from being banned. And as of this Sunday, it will no longer be available in the US.
The US Commerce Department said in its press release this morning:
“In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.”
TikTok has until November 12 to resolve its national security concerns
The press release also talks about how there are two separate dates for WeChat and TikTok.
WeChat has until September 20, and TikTok has until November 12, after that the following transactions are prohibited, according to the Commerce Department:
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.;Advertisement
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.
This means that starting on Sunday, both apps will be removed from both app stores starting on Sunday. And that will prevent users from downloading the apps or updating them in the future.
Furthermore, TikTok has until November 12 to resolve its national security concerns. If it does, then the ban may be lifted. Otherwise, it’ll remain banned, likely for ever.
Will TikTok and WeChat be removed from my phone due to this ban?
It’s unclear whether Apple and Google will be removing TikTok and WeChat from smartphones that already have it downloaded. Google isn’t able to do that on Android, but Apple is able to do that on iOS. We saw that recently with the Fortnite debacle.
However, what may end up happening, is that all ISPs have to block TikTok and WeChat. So that you can’t connect to its servers, even if you have the app downloaded. This is what India has done with these apps (and over a hundred other Chinese apps it has banned). And even then a VPN won’t help you. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out on Sunday.