TikTok and WeChat will be removed from the App Store on Sunday
Image: Solen Feyissa
The Commerce Department has announced that it will prohibit the distribution of WeChat and TikTok apps in the U.S. as of Sept. 20. The use of WeChat for transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S. will also be banned.
In addition, U.S. companies will be blocked from providing internet hosting and content delivery network services to WeChat from Sept. 20 and to TikTok from Nov. 12.
The statement also explains that the "President has provided until Nov. 12 for the national security concerns posed by TikTok to be resolved. If they are, the prohibitions in this order may be lifted."
The announcement comes ahead of an expected decision from President Trump later today over whether to allow Oracle to take a minority stake in TikTok. It's currently unclear whether the Commerce Department's announcement means that the Oracle deal cannot go ahead before the government's deadline of Sept. 20.
"Today's actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement. "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."
Jamie Condliffe ( @jme_c) is the news editor at Protocol, based in London. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, he worked on the business desk at The New York Times, where he edited the DealBook newsletter and wrote Bits, the weekly tech newsletter. He has previously worked at MIT Technology Review, Gizmodo, and New Scientist, and has held lectureships at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. He also holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Oxford.