TikTok is set to be removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as soon as Sunday (September 20) for those in the US after the US government issued a blanket ban on the Chinese app.
The new ban, issued by the US Department of Commerce, also covers Chinese social network WeChat, and it orders both Apple and Google to remove each service from their app stores so that users in the country can no longer download them.
WeChat will be removed by Sunday (September 20), with TikTok allowed to stay online until November 12 at the latest. It’s currently unclear if TikTok will also be removed this coming weekend.
In a press statement, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, said, “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.
“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 U.S. laws and regulations.”
ByteDance – the company behind TikTok – is talking with the Trump administration on how the service could continue to operate in the US. This even includes a proposal that would see TikTok’s global business become a US based company.
TikTok is known to have millions of users throughout the US who may be impacted by this choice.
It’s currently unclear how Apple or Google will respond to this, but expect WeChat to be removed from your current application store of choice by the end of the weekend if you live in the US.
Whether this means the app will be unable to work on your existing Android or iPhone is currently unclear.
The Department of Commerce statement declares that after November 12, it will be ‘prohibited’ for anyone to provide web hosting services to support the running of TikTok, suggesting it may no longer work for users in the US after this date.
However using a VPN to make your connection appear like it is originating from another country may allow you to access TikTok – but we’ll have to wait until November 12 to see.