The U.S. Department of Commerce plans to issue an order Friday banning the download in the country of the Chinese messaging app WeChat and the TikTok short videos since September 20, three officials told Reuters.
Sources indicated that TikTok’s U.S. download ban could still be rescinded by President Donald Trump before it takes effect on Sunday, while the app’s owner, ByteDance, seeks to reach agreement on the future of its operations in the US country.
ByteDance has been in talks with Oracle Corp and others to create a new company, TikTok Global, to deal with Washington’s concerns about the security of its users’ data. ByteDance still needs Trump’s approval to avoid a ban in the United States.
Commerce’s order will prohibit the download of the two apps in the United States and prevent Apple Inc’s App Store, Alphabet Inc.’s Google Play, and others from offering the apps on any platform «accessible from within the United States,» Commerce told Reuters.
Officials asked to respect anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made public.
The order will not prohibit U.S. firms from doing business with WeChat outside the United States, something that will be welcomed by firms like Walmart and Starbucks, which use WeChat’s built-in «mini-app» programs to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China.
In addition, the order will not prohibit transactions with other businesses of WeChat owner Tencent Holdings, such as its online gaming operations, and will not prevent Apple, Google or others from offering TikTok or WeChat apps outside the United States.