TikTok/Donald Trump/WeChat

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TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the US from Sunday, unless President Trump agrees to a last-minute deal.

The Department of Commerce said on Friday it would issue an order barring US citizens from downloading messaging app WeChat or video-sharing app TikTok.

The order will ban the apps from being distributed through any app store on any platform.

The government is concerned the Chinese-owned apps could threaten national security.

If a partnership between Oracle and TikTok owner ByteDance is agreed – and approved by President Trump – the app would not be banned.

It is not yet clear whether Mr Trump will approve the deal, but he is expected to review it before the Sunday deadline.

The ban order from the Department of Commerce follows

President Trump’s executive orders signed in August.

In a statement, the US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said: “At the president’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data.”

The department acknowledged that the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok were not identical but said that each collected “vast swathes of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories”.

ByteDance has denied that it holds any user data in China, saying it is stored in the US and in Singapore. Tencent, which owns WeChat, has said that messages on its app are private.

While TikTok has millions of users in the US, it is not clear how many of WeChat’s billion users are based outside China, although it is likely to be a significant number.

Related Topics

  • TikTok

  • China
  • Donald Trump
  • United States
source: bbc.com

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