Last Friday the Trump administration announced that it is banning two popular China-based apps China’s TikTok and WeChat services from mobile app stores beginning late Sunday, an unprecedented move that further unravels the United States’ quickly deteriorating relationship with China.
But as of Sunday afternoon, each has received a reprieve from a US ban, at least temporarily. According to reports Trump has given a deal between TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart his “blessing,” prompting a delay from the Commerce Department on TikTok’s ban, which means people in the US can still use the TikTok app until November 12. However, for WeChat, the future in the US is even more uncertain.
The US administration officials called the bans necessary to protect national security and prevent Beijing from exploiting the apps to collect user data or disseminate propaganda which the latter denies in a statement.
TikTok has grown explosively in the United States, boasting about 100 million users on a quarterly basis. WeChat had about 3.3 million monthly active users in the United States as of August, according to analytics provider App Annie.