U.S. BAN­NING TIKTOK, WECHAT FROM APP STORES

Chicago Sun-Times - - BUSINESS - BY TALI ARBEL, MATT O’BRIEN AND MATT OTT

The U.S. Com­merce Depart­ment said Fri­day it will ban Chi­nese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sun­day and will bar the apps from ac­cess­ing es­sen­tial in­ter­net ser­vices in the U.S. — a move that could ef­fec­tively wreck the op­er­a­tion of both Chi­nese ser­vices for U.S. users.

TikTok won’t face the most dras­tic sanc­tions un­til af­ter the Nov. 3 elec­tion, but WeChat users could feel the ef­fects as early as Sun­day.

The or­der, which cited na­tional se­cu­rity and data pri­vacy con­cerns, fol­lows weeks of deal­mak­ing over the video-shar­ing ser­vice TikTok. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has pres­sured the app’s Chi­nese owner to sell TikTok’s U.S. op­er­a­tions to a do­mes­tic com­pany to sat­isfy U.S. con­cerns over TikTok’s data col­lec­tion and re­lated is­sues.

Cal­i­for­nia tech gi­ant Or­a­cle re­cently struck a deal with TikTok along those lines, although de­tails re­main foggy and the ad­min­is­tra­tion is still re­view­ing it. Trump said Fri­day that he was open to a deal, not­ing that “we have some great op­tions and maybe we can keep a lot of peo­ple happy,” sug­gest­ing that even Mi­crosoft, which said its TikTok bid had been re­jected, might con­tinue to be in­volved, as well as Or­a­cle and Wal­mart.

Trump noted that TikTok was “very, very pop­u­lar,” said “we have to have the to­tal se­cu­rity from China,” and added that “we can do a com­bi­na­tion of both.”

The new or­der puts pres­sure on TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, to make fur­ther con­ces­sions, said James Lewis of the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies.

CHRIS DEL­MAS/AFP VIA GETTY IM­AGES

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