Washington D.C.: In what may come as the most surprising turn of events, the US has said it will ban TikTok and WeChat from the app stores this Sunday. If the Trump administration finally has its way, ByteDance’s controversial app TikTok will be removed from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store in the US. WeChat will also meet the same fate as its other unlucky counterpart that has been mired in various controversies.
The Associated Press quotes Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that the order was passed Friday to “combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data.” The US Commerce Department will issue the orders to Apple and Google to delist TikTok and WeChat on Sunday. This comes against the backdrop where ByteDance freshly roped in Oracle as its “technology partner” in the US after a month-long discussion with other companies, including Microsoft, to find a way to avoid the impending ban on TikTok.
US President Donald Trump had warned to ban TikTok in the US towards the middle of September if it does not find a way to comply with the regulations. The Trump administration displayed its apprehension toward the Chinese origin of TikTok and its parent company ByteDance and that the popular app might be siphoning off US data to Beijing. Trump has repeatedly criticised the growth of Chinese companies, which is why he had earlier suspended all trade deals with Huawei, only to reconsider them later with some laxity.