EXTUSIVE- Trump on Sunday asked officials to block US downloads of Tickcock, WeChat


WASHINGTON, September 18 (Reuters) – The US Department of Commerce plans to issue an order on Friday that will prevent people in the United States from downloading the Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TickTalk, which is 20 September Three officials told the passengers.

Officials said the ban on Tiktok’s new US download could still be revoked by President Donald Trump, before it became effective on Sunday as Tiktok’s owner ran the Bytdons race to reach a compromise on the fate of his US campaigns Huh.

ByteDance has negotiated with Oracle Corp and others with a new company, Tiktok Global, which aims to address US concerns about the security of its users’ data. ByteDance still needs Trump’s approval to remove the US ban.

The Commerce Department order prohibits two apps and bars from the United States, Apple Inc.’s App Store, Alphabet Inc.’s Google Play, and others from offering apps on any platform that “can access from within the United States” , A senior commerce official told Reuters.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity as the announcement was not yet made public.

The order will not prohibit US companies from doing business on WeChat outside the United States, which would be welcome news for US companies such as Walmart and Starbucks, which facilitate WeChat to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China. Embedded uses ‘mini-app’ programs.

The order will not prohibit transactions with other businesses of WeChat owner Tencent Holdings, including its online gaming operations, and Apple, Google, or others from offering the TickTalk or WeChat app anywhere outside the United States.

The sanctions are in response to a pair of executive orders issued by Trump on August 6, which gave the Commerce Department 45 days to determine whether to block them from apps they considered a national security threat . That deadline expires on Sunday.

Commerce Department officials said they were taking extraordinary steps because of the risk of data collection of apps. China and companies have denied that US user data has been collected for espionage.

In a Reuters statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, “We have dealt with the malicious collection of personal data of US citizens of China by promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms and aggressive enforcement of US laws and regulations.” Has taken significant action. “

Officials said the order is set to be published at 8:45 pm EDT (1245 GMT) on Friday.

Popular apps

The Trump administration has intensified efforts to purge “unreliable” Chinese apps from American digital networks and called Tiktok and WeChat a “significant threat”.

TikTok has 100 million users in the United States and is particularly popular among young Americans.

Analytics firms Aptia said in early August that WeChat has an average of 19 million daily active users in the United States. It is popular among Chinese students, ex-pats, and some Americans who have personal or professional relationships in China.

WeChat is an all-in-one mobile app that combines services such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Venmo. The application is an essential part of daily life for many people in China and boasts over 1 billion users.

The Commerce Department will not try to force people in the United States to remove apps or stop using them but will not allow updates or new downloads. “We are aiming at a top corporate level. We are not going out after individual users, said a commerce official.

Over time, officials said, the lack of updates would reduce the usability of apps.

“The hope is that people will find alternative ways to do these tasks,” said a senior official. “We expect the market to take action and have more secure apps that will fill these gaps that Americans can trust and that the United States government will not have to take similar action against it.”

Commerce is also blocking additional technical transactions with WeChat starting Sunday which will significantly reduce the utility and functionality of the app in the United States.

WeChat for Orders hosts content delivery services and data hosting within the United States for networks that can enhance functionality and Internet transit or pairing services.

“Whatever is going to happen is going to make users experience a shortage or lack of functionality,” said a senior commercial official at WeChat. “It may still be usable but not as functional as it was.” The official said that sporadic outages may also occur.

Commerce for TikTok will prohibit the same set of technical transactions, but it will not take effect until November 12 if the company is given extra time to see if Bytdans deal for its US operations Can do. The official said that Ticketok US users will not see “a big difference” in the app’s performance until 12 November.

In the United States, people using TikTok or WeChat will not impose commerce penalties. The order does not prohibit data storage within the United States for WeChat or TikTok.

Some Americans may find a workaround. There is nothing that can prevent an American from traveling to a foreign country and either downloading the app, or possibly using a virtual private network and a desktop client, officials considered. (Reporting by David Shepperson; Editing by Chris Sanders and Lincoln Feast.)

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