WASHINGTON, D.C., – The commerce department issued a one-week delay in an order that required U.S. app stores to remove the TikTok and WeChat apps from their stores on September 20.
The popular social media apps were been banned in the United States over security fears. The order also banned financial transaction using the app. TikTok allows users to make and share short videos.
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, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”
Secretary Ross said both apps collect a tremendous about of information from users, including:
- network activity
- location data
- browsing history
- search history
“Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP. This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security.”
However just a day after the announcement, the ban was delayed. “In light of recent positive developments, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, at the direction of President Trump, will delay the prohibition of identified transactions pursuant to Executive Order 13942, related to the TikTok mobile application that would have been effective on Sunday, September 20, 2020, until September 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.”
The positive development is believed to be an offer from U.S. tech giant Oracle to purchase the company.
The apps will disappear from app store. Sending money or processing payments using the apps will now be illegal. The apps won’t vanish from phones immediately but support and updates will cease.
TikTok is incredibly popular among younger social media users with an estimated half a billion users around the world.
The app’s creators issued a statement back in August about the ban, “For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”