US President Donald Trump’s Department of Commerce has announced that business transactions with Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok will be banned on September 20. This announcement comes at a time when the US government was supposed to announce a decision on whether Oracle could acquire a minority stake in ByteDance which is the company behind TikTok. This deal would have seen Oracle become a “trusted technology partner” for the ByteDance in the US. This new statement from the Commerce Department means that after September 20 neither TikTok nor WeChat can be featured on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Also Read - TikTok beats Facebook to become world’s most downloaded social media app
This new announcement does not clarify whether that deal with Oracle can still go through. The deadline for that decision is September 20. Reports claim that this could be a strong move on the part of the Trump administration to enforce it’s previous intention of TikTok being owned by an American company. Also Read - Now TikTok copies Snapchat, begins testing Stories feature
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said in a statement, “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.” Also Read - After PUBG Mobile and Shein, TikTok plans to return to India
Donald Trump in a previous executive order had given TikTok 45-days time to sell it’s business in the US to a company from the country. This order also included WeChat which is owned by Chinese company Tencent. While TikTok is another story altogether, banning WeChat and in turn its parent company Tencent would have a cascading result. Tencent is not only responsible for developing WeChat but also popular mobile games. These games include PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile. This could result in the banning of these two popular games as well. Tencent Games is yet to make a statement on the same.