The US government will begin restricting access to TikTok and WeChat on Sunday to safeguard the national security of the Country.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, “In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce on Friday announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States.”
The Commerce Department said WeChat will be banned from Sunday while TikTok will shut down by November 12 in the US.
Wilbur Ross in a tweet 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.”
“Today’s actions prove once again that President @realDonaldTrump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” he added.
While the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are not identical, they are similar. Each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories. 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, according to the statement.