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Commerce Department Plans To Block Downloads Of TikTok, WeChat In US

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Commerce Department Plans To Block Downloads Of TikTok, WeChat In US

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/18/2020 – 07:46

With the White House still ratcheting up the pressure on ByteDance and China, Reuters has just confirmed American millennials’ worst fears: That is, if a deal for American control of TikTok isn’t completed by Sunday evening in the US, the Commerce Department will move to block any future downloads of the apps in the US, a critical step toward shutting them down in the US, as President Trump has insisted.

Moments later, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told journalists that WeChat – another Chinese app targeted in one of Trump’s executive order – will be “shut down in the US” by Sept. 20 if a deal isn’t struck. He also said talks between TikTok and CFIUS are “ongoing”, suggesting that the deal is far from finished.

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Reports from late last night suggested that Beijing would be comfortable with the TikTok-Oracle-White House deal, so long as TikTok’s content-recommendation algorithm isn’t transferred to the US.

With deal talks coming down to the wire, the Commerce Department is also reportedly preparing to issue an order on Friday barring anyone in the US from downloading the Chinese-owned apps – both WeChat and TikTok – starting on Sept 20, unless President Trump rescinds the order by late Sunday evening.

According to Secretary Ross, the Department of Commerce will announce prohibitions on transactions relating to both mobile applications on Friday.

“The Chinese Communist Party CCP has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S,” the Department of Commerce said in a statement to the press, released just moments ago.

Though the comments also introduced more confusion, as the administration has apparently kicked the can once again, saying that TikTok will have until Nov. 12 before a total ban, giving the negotiators more space to hash out a deal.

US social media companies like Snap and Facebook rallied on the news. Notably, Reuters reported that the new directive wouldn’t impact US companies interactions with these apps outside the US, a provision that American corporates doing business in China had insisted upon, since WeChat is the dominant communications platform for people inside China.

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About The Author

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge's mission is to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public, to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become, to liberate oppressed knowledge, to provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint and to facilitate information's unending quest for freedom. Visit

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