Good. The idea of the Communist Chinese government with all the data on your phone should scare the bejesus out even the most diehard user.
TikTok, WeChat downloads will be barred from US starting Sunday
The Trump administration’s decision comes after weeks of drama over a potential acquisition of TikTok by a US company.
By: Ian Sherr, Carrie Mihalcik, CNET, Sept. 18, 2020:
ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat social networking apps will be barred from US app stores starting Sunday, the Trump administration said Friday, capping weeks of speculation and efforts by US and Chinese authorities to come to an agreement that would allow the apps to continue operating.
“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,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “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.”
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TikTok’s future in the US has been in limbo since early this summer after Trump targeted the app over concerns its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, could be forced to give data about American users to the Chinese government. ByteDance says it keeps user data in the US with a backup in Singapore. The company has said it wouldn’t give data to the Chinese government if asked.
Trump also signed an executive order on Aug. 6 banning US transactions on WeChat, calling the messaging app owned by Chinese giant Tencent a “significant” threat to national security.
The president has called for ByteDance to sell TikTok or risk being banned in the US. The administration is reviewing a deal between Oracle and ByteDance that would make the US company the “trusted technology provider” in the US for TikTok and is designed to address national security concerns.
Ross on Friday said the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are similar but not identical, adding that they both pose “unacceptable risks to our national security.” He said the prohibitions announced on Friday will protect US users by eliminating access to the apps and significantly reducing their functionality.
Starting Sunday, the Commerce Department is prohibiting “any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the US” as well as “any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the US.”
Additional prohibitions will kick in on Sunday for WeChat and on Nov. 12 for TikTok, including prohibiting “internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization” of the apps and prohibiting using the mobile apps’ “constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the US,” according to the Commerce Department.
The release also notes the prohibitions against TikTok may be lifted if the company is able to address national security concerns by Nov. 12.
ByteDance, Tencent and the Chinese Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
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