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Trump Administration Banning TikTok App Store Downloads Starting Sunday

Trump Administration Banning TikTok App Store Downloads Starting Sunday

The Trump administration announced it will ban Apple and Google from offering the Chinese-based apps TikTok and WeChat in their app stores starting on Sunday, CNN reports.

The Commerce Department said it will restrict access starting this weekend. Users who have already downloaded TikTok will be able to continue to use them but won’t be able to download updates.

"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," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business.

The Department will ban hosting any web traffic linked to WeChat, however.

Traffic linked to TikTok could be made illegal in November as well if the company’s US platform is not sold to Oracle or another buyer.

Further restrictions?

The Commerce Department said it may announce additional steps if it identifies companies using workarounds to continue access to the apps.

"Today's actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party," Ross 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."

TikTok has until November to sell:

TikTok will be allowed to continue to operate in the US until November 12, the deadline for the company’s owner ByteDance to strike a deal to sell the US platform to Oracle.

Oracle submitted a proposal to the Treasury Department to partner with TikTok in the US but has yet to get approval from the administration. Trump has suggested he opposes the deal.

Under the proposal, TikTok would set up its headquarters in the US while Oracle would host all user data.

The sale talks were forced by Trump’s executive order in August banning the app unless it found a US buyer. The administration has expressed concerns that the app may be collecting user data for the Chinese Communist Party and can be used to spy on users, though experts say the app collects no more data than other social networks in the US.