United States to ban downloads of TikTok and WeChat apps on Sunday

The Trump administration has moved to ban the apps over concerns about threats to American national security

Updated: September 18, 2020 - 8:29am

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The Commerce Department announced Friday morning that it will be prohibiting the distribution and maintenance of China-based apps TikTok and WeChat beginning on Sunday. 

WeChat will effectively be shut down on Sunday, and TikTok will meet the same fate on Nov. 12, if no government approved takeover by an U.S. company is in place.

U.S. official are concerned that the apps, owned by a Chinese company, could be gathering user's personal data.

The distribution restrictions mean that the major mobile app stores that Americans use, run by Apple and Google, will be forced to remove WeChat and TikTok from their libraries. 

"WeChat U.S., for all practical purposes, will be shut down," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Fox Business.

In a statement from the Commerce Department, Ross said, "Today's actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party."

Ross also said in the 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."