Unraveling the TikTok and WeChat Ban

Mark Rokhlenko, Editor In Chief

TikTok and WeChat are some of the most popular apps in the United States, and yet the Commerce Department is prohibiting downloads of them in U.S. app stores. Here is why.  


TikTok and WeChat are both extremely popular apps in the United States. However they are both based in China, and in part owned and operated by the Communist Chinese Government.  China and the U.S. have long been in a standstill rivalry, mainly focusing around the trade war between them. However another department of this rivalry is cybersecurity, and the arms race of information. Chinese apps that are popular in the United States have an unpleasant tendency to sell user data to the Chinese Government. Though both WeChat and TikTok have denied that they do this, the United States Government has identified them as potential threats and banned both apps. The full future of these apps is not yet known, but it is looking grim for both of them.


The fate of WeChat is sealed already though. You can no longer download the app in the U.S. app store, and messaging, payments, and all other transactions on the app are disabled. The ban has also canceled all transactions with WeChat and American companies, meaning the infrastructure WeChat worked with is no longer their partners.


TikTok is luckier, in some sense. Though you can no longer download the app, you can still use it if you have it already. There is a plan set in place to decide after the Presidential Election if TikTok will face full termination. The company Oracle is looking to buy the company, which would shut down the company as well. Oracle and other buyers such as Walmart would use the money and information TikTok has and start a new company: TikTok Global. However negotiations are stiff at the current moment and the deal may not happen at all.


Technology is changing. It is becoming a silent weapon, and this is simply the United States Government trying to protect the nation from possible danger.




https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/09/everything-we-know-so-far-about-oracle-not-actually-buying-tiktok/#:~:text=The%20transaction%2C%20as%20we%20currently,provider%20for%20the%20new%20entityUnraveling the TikTok and WeChat Ban.