Government to ban WeChat to 'safeguard U.S. national security' on Sunday, while TikTok will be banned by November 12
The US government will ban downloads of the Chinese-owned TikTok video sharing app and the use of the popular Chinese messaging and payment app WeChat to "safeguard US national security."
TikTok will be banned by November 12, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Friday on Fox Business News that access to that app may be possible if certain safeguards are put in place.
"Under the president's direction, we have taken significant action to combat China's malicious collection of US citizens' personal data, while promoting our national values, rules-based democratic norms, and aggressive enforcement of laws and regulations. US regulations, ”Ross said in a statement.
WeChat, a social media, messaging and payment app from China's Tencent, has a billion users worldwide but is relatively small in the United States, with 19 million users. WeChat users in the United States will not be able to use the financial transaction app from Sunday.
TikTok has 100 million users in the United States. US tech firm Oracle and Walmart are in discussions with the company to form a partnership that addresses the security concerns of the Trump administration.
The government has previously stated that using and downloading the app to communicate will not be banned, although messaging on the app "may be directly or indirectly affected" by the ban and people using it for messaging will not be banned. subject to sanctions.
Trade officials said the ban on new US downloads of TikTok could still be lifted by Donald Trump before it goes into effect Sunday, as TikTok owner ByteDance races to strike a deal on the fate of its US operations.
ByteDance has been in discussions with Oracle and others to create a new company, TikTok Global, which aims to address US concerns about the security of its users' data. ByteDance still needs Trump's approval to avoid a US ban.
Trade officials said they will not block further technical transactions for TikTok until November 12, which gives the company more time to see if ByteDance can reach a deal for its U.S. operations. "The basic TikTok will remain intact until November 12," Ross told Fox Business Network.
The department said the actions "will protect users in the United States by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality."
The Commerce Department's order will "warp" the two apps in the US and prevent Apple's app store, Alphabet Google Play and others from offering the apps on any platform "that can be reached from within the US," a senior trade official told Reuters.
The order will not ban US companies from doing business on WeChat outside of America, which is good news for US companies like Walmart and Starbucks that use WeChat's built-in "mini-app" programs to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China, officials said.
The order will not block transactions with other businesses of WeChat owner Tencent Holdings, including its online gaming operations, and will not prohibit Apple, Google or others from offering TikTok or WeChat apps anywhere outside the United States.
In a statement, TikTok said it disagreed with the decision. “We have already committed to unprecedented levels for further transparency and accountability far beyond what other apps are willing to do, including third-party audits, code security auditing, and US government oversight of data security. United States, ”the company said.
“Additionally, an American technology provider would be responsible for maintaining and operating the TikTok network in the United States, which would include all services and data serving US consumers. We will continue to challenge the unfair executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses in the United States of a meaningful platform for both a voice and a livelihood. "
The bans are in response to a couple of executive orders issued by Trump on August 6 that gave the Commerce Department 45 days to determine which transactions to block from apps it believed posed a threat to national security. That deadline was Sunday.
The Trump administration has stepped up efforts to eliminate "untrusted" Chinese apps from US digital networks and has called TikTok and WeChat "significant threats."
WeChat is popular with Chinese students, Chinese immigrants, and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China.
WeChat is an all-in-one mobile app that combines services similar to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Venmo. The app is an essential part of everyday life for many in China and boasts over 1 billion users.
The Commerce Department will not try to force people in the United States to remove apps or stop using them, but it won't allow updates or new downloads. “We aim for the highest company level.
Over time, officials said, the lack of updates will reduce the usability of the apps.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on DataBase Italia at the URL https://www.databaseitalia.it/time-out-trump-mette-al-bando-tik-tok-e-we-chat/ on Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:44:34 +0000.