The U.S. Department of Commerce, under President Donald Trump, announced on Friday that it is banning downloads of TikTok and WeChat starting this Sunday, September 20.
According to Good Morning America, the Trump administration announced the measure was necessary to “safeguard the national security of the United States.”
Trump released an executive order in August about the threat posed by TikTok, claiming that the Chinese-owned app may “allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information, potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
TikTok released a statement to discredit Trump’s claim from U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas after Trump first threatened to ban TikTok in early August.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s full ban of TikTok won’t go into effect until after the election on November 12. However, WeChat is already having more drastic restrictions placed starting on Sunday: GMA reports that the U.S. will ban the transfer of funds or processing payments when used in the country.
U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross released a statement celebrating Trump’s move.
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.