Apple and Google must remove TikTok and chat service WeChat from their U.S. download shops next Sunday. This is stated in a statement from the Department of Commerce.
It is forbidden to make the apps available through the download shops. Anyone who has downloaded TikTok before then can continue to use the app for the time being. This has no consequences for Dutch users, because the order specifically concerns the download shops in the US.
According to the US government, the apps pose a threat to US user data. ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has always contradicted the fact that it transfers data from Americans to the Chinese government. The New York Times recently outlined how WeChat is being used by China to track its citizens.
TikTok is not yet going completely black. The statement states that there is room until 12 November to address security concerns. If that happens, the ban will be lifted
After that there could be a complete ban. If that happens, Dutch users will no longer be able to see videos by American TikTokkers.
The consequences for WeChat now are greater than for TikTok. For the chat app, not only will it have to disappear from American download shops next Sunday, but the app will also have to go black in the US.
Weeks of negotiations
The future of TikTok has been under negotiation for weeks. The app, in which users share dances and other acts in short videos, has recently become increasingly popular. The app has more than 100 million users in both the US and Europe. It is the first Chinese-made social media app with great success in the West.
President Trump was expected to decide today on a deal between TikToks parent company ByteDance and US software company Oracle. That could still happen. So it cannot be ruled out that this order will be part of the negotiating game, for example, to get more out of it at the last minute.