If you haven’t jumped on the WeChat or TikTok bandwagon yet, don’t worry. As of Sunday, you won’t be able to anyway.

This morning, the Trump administration announced it will ban U.S. companies from distributing WeChat and TikTok.

As of Sunday, U.S. companies will not be allowed to transfer funds or processing through WeChat, and other companies will be barred from hosting content delivery networks or other peering services through WeChat. New downloads of TikTok will be banned, but a complete ban of the video sharing app will be delayed until November 12, as a takeover of its U.S. operations is still in the works.

In a prepared statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur 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.”

“For all practical purposes (WeChat) will be shut down in the U.S., but only in the U.S., as of midnight Monday,” Ross said in an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.

As of Sunday night, current TikTok users won’t have access to improved apps, updated apps, upgraded apps or maintenance but can still create and share videos.

“The basic TikTok will stay intact until Nov. 12,” Ross said. “If there’s not a deal by Nov. 12 under the provisions of the old order, then TikTok would also be, for all practical purposes, shut down.”

There are currently 7.8 billion humans living on earth, and 1 billion of them use WeChat every month to send text and voice messages, and mobile payments. The app was developed by China’s Tencent and first released in 2011. It became the world’s largest standalone mobile app in 2018.

TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based Internet technology company. The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play and has about 800 million active users. Forty-one percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24, and users spend an average of 52 minutes a day using the app.

Naturally the decision has started a political firestorm, with critics claiming there was some political favoritism going on.

The idea that WeChat and TikTok pose real threats to American security because of their close ties to the Chinese government spans both ends of the political spectrum. But the two companies are being treated differently, according the observers.

In an article for Vox.com, Kafka writes, WeChat, its owners, and its users don’t have any real ties to the White House. But TikTok’s owner ByteDance is trying to do a deal with Oracle, the US database company whose executives have supported Trump (Oracle founder Larry Ellison has held a fundraiser for Trump; Oracle CEO Safra Catz was part of Trump’s transition team). And ByteDance investor Doug Leone is also a Trump supporter.

Does it matter? And are these apps a big part of your life?

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