President Trump Bans TikTok, WeChat

WeChat to be discontinued, TikTok given until Nov. 12 to be sold

September 18, 2020

UPDATE SEP. 21: TikTok has tentatively agreed to let Walmart and Oracle form a company, TikTok Global, which will own a minority stake in the app. This means that, should the deal go through, the app will not be banned from app stores and can continue normal operations. President Trump and the Department of Commerce have given the parties until Sept. 27 to finalize the deal. While his original plans were to sell TikTok, the President gave the deal his blessing.

President Donald Trump announced a ban on the popular social media platforms TikTok and WeChat over national security concerns Sept. 18. TikTok, which grew dramatically over the summer of 2019 and inspired people to create and record challenges and dances, is especially popular among teenagers. 

President Trump declared in an executive order Aug. 6 that TikTok and WeChat harvested inordinate amounts of information from users and gave it to the Chinese government to possibly be weaponized. 

President Trump gave TikTok the option to be sold to an American company and continue operating. While Microsoft initially showed interest, the only remaining bidder for the app is the software creator company Oracle, though the fact that the owner of Oracle, Larry Ellison, is an avid Trump donor has raised allegations of conflicts of interest. Senior Ben Levisee, who has 324,700 followers on TikTok, is hopeful for the deal to prevent the app’s closure. 

“If I am being honest, I think TikTok will not be banned,” Levisee said. “I think [Oracle] has already won TikTok over, so I won’t react in any way.”

Those wishing to download and access TikTok and WeChat before they are taken off the App Store will need to download the apps before Sun. Sept. 20. WeChat will be discontinued the next day, while TikTok will be given until Nov. 12 to be sold and continue operations. If not, American internet carriers will be barred from allowing any communication from the app, officially preventing the app’s use in America.

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