President Trump to block U.S. downloads of TikTok, WeChat on Sunday

In a move that will protect Americans from downloading Chinese-owned platforms over concerns they pose a national security threat, the Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting Sunday night.

TikTik logoDavid Shepardson for Reuters:

Current TikTok users will see little change on Sunday and U.S. Commerce Department officials said they will not bar additional technical transactions for TikTok until Nov. 12, which gives the company time to see if owner ByteDance can clinch an agreement over the fate of its U.S. operations.

“The basic TikTok will stay intact until Nov. 12,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network on Friday.

ByteDance has been in talks with Oracle Corp and others to create a new company, TikTok Global, that aims to address U.S. concerns about the security of its users’ data. ByteDance still needs Trump’s approval to stave off a U.S. ban.

The Commerce Department order bars Apple Inc’s app store, Alphabet Inc’s Google Play and others from offering the apps on any platform “that can be reached from within the United States,” a senior Commerce official told Reuters. The department said the actions will “protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.”

The order will not bar transactions with WeChat-owner Tencent Holdings’ other businesses, including its online gaming operations, and will not prohibit Apple, Google or others from offering TikTok or WeChat apps anywhere outside the United States.

MacDailyNews Note: President Trump on August 6th gave the U.S. Commerce Department 45 days to determine what transactions to block from the TikTok and WeChat apps he deemed pose a national security threat. That deadline expires on Sunday.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


    1. “This is government cesorship.”


      Facebook censors posts AT WILL daily and Twitter banned posts from the Tweeter In Chief.

      Let’s not forget:

      “Apple has removed at least 47,000 apps from its App Store in China to comply with the new policy from the state regulators.”

      — Business Standard,
      August 2020

      Cook complies with human rights violator and oppressive CCP government “censorship” while excusing it at the cost of doing business and following country law — ah, the thick irony of a SJW. 🤔

      Reasons aside, we know Tim obviously has vast experience pulling thousands of Apps complying with government “censorship.” So, a handful in the USA will be a walk in the park for Cook in cooperation with the President for the greater good.

      IMPORTANT: Night and day stark differences between two countries.

      China “censorship” silences citizens speech and movement walling them off from the free world under penalty of arrest, prison or death.

      USA “censorship” silences an oppressive communist regime from spying on government and citizens and protects theft of government/business secrets and personal information.

      Certainly “censorship” is either bad or good and not all reasons or motives driving it are the same…

  1. This is significantly less restrictive than the ban that was originally announced, which would have made it illegal for Apple or any “US person,” including foreign branches of a US company, from doing any business with WeChat or TikTok anywhere in the world.

    It will still be a major problem for Americans who want to visit or do business in China. If you buy a new iPhone or restore an old one from backups (whether.iCloud or iTunes), the apps are actually restored from the App Store, which will not have those two apps for US customers after Sunday.

    It is almost impossible to function in China without WeChat, since many shops and restaurants do not accept cash or credit cards. Affected persons will have to buy a new non-Apple phone to use in addition to, or instead of, their iPhone.

    1. It might work. The Trump Organization’s largest single asset is its interest in an office building in San Francisco, 555 California Street. One of the tenants is the Qatar Investment Authority, which has been paying rent for 5557 square feet on the 43rd floor for more than a year. To all appearances, the offices are unoccupied, meaning that the sovereign wealth fund of a foreign government which depends on US support has been making payments for an office they do not need. Those payments have gone directly into Donald Trump’s personal bank account. Curiously, at about the same time the payments began, the Trump Administration changed a previously hostile relation with Qatar into a friendly one.

      This is not an isolated case. At least 35 Trump tenants have lobbied the Federal Government on policy issues, 20 of them having contacted the White House directly. Thirty tenants collected $8 billion for federal contracts in 2018-19 alone; at least 17 have faced federal investigations for fraud, corruption, or other offenses.

      Oracle better write a really BIG check. The People’s Republic of China has been paying $1.9 million a year for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China offices on the 20th floor of Trump Tower in New York. That lease was most recently renegotiated after the President took office, and after the bank had rented much larger offices in another building… inexplicably retaining its newly surplus space in Trump Tower.

      For more similar stories, read (and weep at):

      Qatar has also bought over $16.5 million in apartments in Trump World Tower near the UN. The governments of Afghanistan, India, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia were already paying in excess of $225,000 a month in charges in the building.

        1. Congratulations on making fun of a stutterer. That’s really classy of you.

          Joe Biden has a stutter. He has done a marvelous job of functioning in public office despite facing such a challenge. But you can still see it on display from time to time. As in this clip.

          “Chickens. Chickens and… chickens and poultry… and all… what is… all the… all the mature that is, quite frankly, that is a consequence of chickens.”

          It’s actually quite a cogent response if you listen without the heart of a troll.

      1. “The Trump Organization’s largest single asset is its interest in bla bla bla…”

        What a load of unsubstantiated horse manure. Your sources are nothing but fake news editorial BS.

      2. President Trump the most amazing businessman president in the history of the United States. Juggling business interests and running the country clearly obvious he can juggle more balls in the air at the same time than any other politician. His tireless work ethic at his age is also the most remarkable in history along with the greatest economy built in three years before Covid hit our shores. Truly remarkable one of a kind amazing man.

        Keep America Great 2020! 🇺🇸🦅👏🏻

        1. No need. I can smell him from here, relaxing at my lake house, far away from the Antifa / BLM riff-raff, but very well-armed, of course. I even have a so very scary AR-15. (lol) 🙂

          1. HAhaha he has an assault weapon and can’t handle people who peacefully protest to make the nation a better place in our age for the marginalized and forgotten. Hilarious!

  2. Even if Oracle buy US TikTok they will not have access to the source code. Sure the servers may be relocated to the US but what’s to stop the app from transmitting data to a second server without anyone’s knowledge?
    If China is really using these apps to spy (which I highly doubt) then the only way to block that is to ban the apps completely. I wonder what the Supreme Court would make of that.

  3. Several of my respected friends moved on to MeWe because, they said, FB was too tight-assed with their posts, “censoring” them. A political friend thinks that Telegraph is a promising alternative which I am considering but I don’t want to go through the whole sign up process and then, at the end of it, find out that it’s not right for me. I wonder if any MDN commenters have any experience with Telegraph?

  4. I use old school smoke signals. With west coast wildfires it can be a bit troublesome but very secure with legal Marijuana laws. Puff, puff pass

    One puff — Sending a single plume of smoke would commonly be an attention signal. This meant that something unusual was going on, but there’s no cause for alarm or imminent danger. It was commonly a sign to watch for further signals.

    Two puffs — A two puff signal meant that all was well and that camp was established and safe. It indicated that they would stay at their current location until further notice. If the camp was more permanent, a continual two puff message was sent to let neighboring bands know that permanent camp was near and safe.

    Three puffs — This was an alarm signal. Indians warned of approaching enemies or marked the beginning of a battle with this signal. Continuous single columns of smoke indicated greater danger and a call for help.

    Still trying to work out the emojis.

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