TikTok Chinese App has 100 million users in the US, while WeChat has 19 million daily active users, according to Reuters. The order doesn’t prevent companies from hosting WeChat and TikTok Chinese App outside the US, nor does it affect other Tencent games and apps.
The DoC’s wording makes it clear that it wants the apps to disappear in the US. It has not only banned the software, code, and updates but any payments associated with WeChat. By November 12th, it will also prohibit:
All of that means that the White House is trying to leave no loopholes that would allow access to the app. And since it dropped the news on Friday, with the ban going effect Sunday, ByteDance and its partners will have little to no time to attempt to delay or reverse the decision. It will also force hosting services to react quickly to remove the software, given the November 12th deadline.
“We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban the use of TikTok Chinese App network in the US from November 12,” a TikTok Chinese App spokesperson explained to Engadget. “Our community of 100 million US users loves this because it's a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection, and we’re committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
The TikTok Chinese App ban has come despite a possible partnership between Oracle and ByteDance. Yesterday, Trump said that he didn’t like that deal, according to Bloomberg, while adding that he was “not prepared to sign off on anything.”
The spokesperson also detailed what the company has done in an effort to appease the White House.
“In our proposal to the US Administration, we've already committed to unprecedented levels of additional transparency and accountability well beyond what other software are willing to do, including third-party audits, verification of code security, and US government oversight of US data security,” the spokesperson said. “Further, an American technology provider would be responsible for maintaining and operating this network in the US, which would include all services and data serving US consumers. We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods."
Update 10:48AM ET: This post has been updated with a statement from this software. It has also been updated to make clear that US companies will be barred from hosting TikTok Chinese App and WeChat starting on November 12th.