From Sunday night the US ban on TikTok and WeChat will be implemented, blocking new American users from downloading both apps.
Talks about banning TikTok have been making headlines all year, but this week, the Trump administration officially announced the ban on the Chinese-owned apps. India has already placed a ban on the app, along with other-Chinese owned apps, and Australia has been talking about following suit.
TikTok, the social media platform that boasts alluring, one-minute videos, has taken the world by storm. Its users have interfered with Trump’s comeback rally, they have documented the Black Lives Matter protests from the frontlines, and filled the void of time that COVID created.
Calls to ban TikTok began at concerns that it’s being used as government spyware and involved with Chinese propaganda. It’s no secret that our current political landscape is a mess, with international relationships becoming more and more fractured. From theories about COVID-19’s origins to the belief that China is to be blamed for the major cyber-attack on Australian governments and businesses that occurred in June, it seems that it was only a matter of time before more Chinese-owned products were demonised.
Officials said the ban was to “combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data“.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross explained that “the basic TikTok will stay intact until November 12”, adding that “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 US laws and regulations.”
TikTok said it would challenge the “unjust executive order”, but as of right now, it appears the app – along with WeChat – will be removed from the US versions of the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and other popular app databases from this Sunday.
The 100 million American TikTok users who’ve already downloaded the app will see little change, with some “technical transactions” being limited.