Chinese owned social media apps TikTok and WeChat will be banned from download stores in the U.S. from Sunday (20Sep20).
Officials from America's Department of Commerce said on Friday it would issue an order barring US citizens from downloading TikTok, the video-sharing app which has become a sensation with teens and celebrities, as well as messaging service WeChat.
The order will ban the apps from app stores on all platform, citing reasons of national security.
In a prepared statement made on the Fox Business channel, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the ban was undertaken under instruction from President Trump.
"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," he explained.
President Trump issued an Executive Order last month announcing that TikTok would be banned in 45 days, prompting TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance, to agree a partnership with Oracle to divest its U.S. operations – a deal that requires approval from The White House.
If the deal is approved by Sunday then the ban on TikTok may not come into force. Existing users of the app will not be affected by the move to ban it from app stores, for now – but an outright ban may come into force on 12 November.
The app now has millions of users in the U.S., including stars like Ariana Grande, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo, and Katy Perry.