US Department of Commerce bans WeChat and TikTok

As of 20 September 2020, the US Department of Commerce has prohibited 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 USA. Further, the US Department of Commerce has prohibited starting 20 September 2020 any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the USA. In addition, as of 20 September 2020, for WeChat and as of 12 November 2020 for TikTok, the US Department of Commerce prohibits any provision of internet hosting services, content delivery network services, internet transit or peering services, and utilization of constituent code, functions or services enabling the functioning or optimization of WeChat and TikTok in the USA. 

The reason for this ban according to the US Department of Commerce is that ‘Each [WeChat, TikTok] is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP.  This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security’.