Tick tock for TikTok (and WeChat): Trump Administration to ban the apps
September 18, 2020
The Trump Administration announced Friday morning that Chinese company ByteDance owned apps WeChat and TikTok will be banned from U.S. app stores beginning Sunday at 9 PM PST (Monday at 12 AM EST). Downloads of the two platforms will no longer be available if independent app stores comply and remove it, although TikTok users will be able to access the app until a further date.
TikTok users will be able to access the platform, but the app will face a complete ban in mid-November unless safeguards are set in place. Additionally, further updates for TikTok will be unavailable. WeChat, however, is facing more extensive restrictions. WeChat, a mobile messaging, payment, and social media platform will gather extensive restrictions beginning Monday. From that point on, it will be illegal to host or transfer internet traffic associated with WeChat.
Oracle, a cloud application service, is set to buy TikTok’s operations in the U.S. Their bid left many surprised as it beat out Microsoft’s favored bid. The app will be shut down if the deal between American company Oracle and ByteDance does not go through.
“Each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories,” according to the Commerce Department. This concern is not only prevalent in the U.S. but other countries such as France and India, who have also investigated similar claims.
Analysts predict that this move by the White House could potentially harm Donald Trump’s image with the youth in the coming election. Around 33% of adults say they oppose the ban, although around 29% are in support. Adults aged between 18 and 29 years old, however, show the strongest opposition towards the ban, a large 33-point margin, according to a Forbes article. This strong opposition towards the ban could lead to changes in young adults’ voter turnout.
Update 9/19: Donald Trump approved Oracle’s bid for the U.S. operations of TikTok