US bans TikTok and WeChat apps from this weekend

US bans TikTok and WeChat apps from this weekend
The US government will begin restricting access to TikTok and WeChat on Sunday as the Donald Trump's executive orders against the two apps are set to take effect.
The Commerce Department said tonight that as of Sunday, any moves to distribute or maintain WeChat or TikTok on an app store will be prohibited.
In addition, the department said, it will be illegal to host or transfer internet traffic associated with WeChat beginning Sunday. The same will be true for TikTok as of November 12, it said.
The Commerce Department plans to restrict access to TikTok and WeChat on Sunday (AP)
Further restrictions could still be announced later, including against other apps if they are seen to be used as workarounds.
"Today's actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a release.
"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 US laws and regulations."

How did we get here?

There are roughly 100 million TikTok users in the United States, making it clear why the platform's videos have taken over the internet.
As the relationship between Washington and Beijing has frayed in recent weeks, US government officials have claimed that TikTok poses a serious threat to national security. President Donald Trump had threatened to ban it unless an American company took control of its domestic operations.
President Donald Trump had threatened to ban it unless an American company took control of its domestic operations (AP)
Trump's declaration set off a bidding contest that roped in some of America's top corporations, including Microsoft, Oracle and Walmart.
The frenzy kicked off in early August when Trump signed an executive order that would effectively ban TikTok in the United States unless the Chinese-owned ByteDance could find an American owner for its US operations by September 20.
The Trump administration expressed concerns that the hugely popular app could be used as a spying tool by Beijing. Authorities also fear that it could be leveraged to collect personal data on US citizens, or to censor speech deemed sensitive by the Chinese government.
TikTok has denied those allegations. The company has said its data centres are located entirely outside of China and that none of that data is subject to Chinese law.
The Oracle announcement came days before the executive order was due to take effect. Some experts think the proposed deal could pass muster because of Trump's ties to cofounder Larry Ellison, a supporter of the president. CEO Safra Katz has also donated to Trump's reelection bid.

What does this mean for TikTok users?

As the situation rapidly progresses, TikTok's tens of millions of US users worry they could lose access to one of their favorite products.
For now, people can continue to post their short videos of dances, fun recipes and comedy routines per usual.
Once the ban is enacted, however, it's still not clear what it would mean for users.
If negotiations continue between TikTok and the US government, the end result could still be a deal that would allow US app stores to host TikTok once again.