Popular Chinese-owned mobile apps TikTok and WeChat are the new victims of a significant escalation in the US-China tech-fight. The Trump administration said Friday it would ban these apps from the US app stores as of midnight Sunday axing 100 million users from the states.
TikTok has become one of the most popular platforms for sharing viral videos while WeChat is one of the most popular chats, payment, news and they said a propaganda site for surveillance in China.
Early August, President Trump issued an executive order that labels the security issue with TikTok and WeChat collecting data from US users that could be retrieved by the Chinese government. Any violations on this order will have a fine up to $1M and up to 20 years in prison.
The multiple restrictions are aimed to deny WeChat to be used in the United States where the government will also ban American companies from processing transactions for WeChat or hosting its network activities. In similar situations, TikTok is on the verge of full restrictions unless the company can ease its security threat cited by the administration until November 12th. Reports have cited TikTok’s current talks with Oracle about a deal to transfer some control to the software maker, somehow to alleviate the concern.
The announcement seemed to build a digital wall breaking the borderless internet into partitions of political and social stance driven by security threats and nationalism. Chinese are banned from using Facebook, Youtube, Google, and WhatsApp while on the other hand, Americans could soon be denied from WeChat and possibly TikTok soon.