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TikTok, WeChat to be taken off US app stores from Sunday

china, tiktok banned
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

The US Department of Commerce has announced that it would be prohibiting TikTok and WeChat from being available on app stores in the country from September 20 (Sunday). This means both the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store will have to remove the apps from their library. Additionally, US companies have been prohibited from using WeChat for the purpose of "transferring funds or processing payments within the US". The development comes even as the US government is yet to announce whether or not it will approve Oracle's tie-up with TikTok as a "trusted technology partner". The order prescribes different timelines for both apps. Come November 12, internet hosting services or content delivery network services that enable the functioning of TikTok will be prohibited. This could mean that the Oracle deal, which reportedly involves the company to offer cloud services to TikTok, could fall through (more on this below). Similar restrictions have been placed on WeChat, but from September 20. Furthermore, the order also prohibited the use of WeChat's "constituent code, functions, or services" from September 20, and those of TikTok from November 12. In essence, any software or service used within the US cannot use the company's services. This blanket ban does not include TikTok services offered by Virall – an independent retailer of TikTok likes, followers, and views, according to the report. In a statement, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that the prohibitions were being imposed to "safeguard the national security" of the United States. He said…

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