TikTok and WeChat downloads will be banned in app stores at midnight on Sunday.
What this means: TikTok and WeChat will not be deleted off of users’ phones. Anyone can still download the app in the U.S., but on Sunday it will be removed from the app store, so no future updates or maintenance to the app will be allowed.
- “The only real change as of Sunday night will be [TikTok users] won’t have access to improved apps, updated apps, upgraded apps or maintenance,” CNN reported U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying on Fox Business.
- While the app remains functioning, users suspect that over time, it will encounter problems in iOS and Android system updates or that its “performance will start to degrade” to the point that it might be unusable.
- WeChat, however, will be completely shut down in the U.S. on Sunday, according to BBC News.
Planned ban: The Trump administration considered a ban on TikTok and other Chinese social media apps since July, but was met with resistance along the way.
- According to the president’s executive order on Aug. 6, the White House claimed that WeChat and TikTok collect personal information from its users and “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to [it].”
- In the case of WeChat, the social media platform is not only used for business but a link to communicating with family members in China, according to Reuters.
- Disagreements over the ban resulted in disgruntled users from the nonprofit U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, other individuals and TikTok to sue the Trump Administration.
- TikTok and WeChat will continue to challenge and work towards “a long-term solution,” according to the New York Times.
- There is hope for the 100 million TikTok users in the U.S. that the app can be saved, as software and tech company Oracle and Walmart will have until Nov. 12 to “finalize a deal,” or ultimately face a complete ban, according to NPR.
Featured Image via Kon Karampelas