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United States to ban Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat; China plans to retaliate

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Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2020. 9:31 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Friday, the United States ordered a ban on downloads of popular Chinese owned video app TikTok and messaging app WeChat citing that the apps threaten national security, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The move will be implemented tomorrow and comes amid rising US-China tensions.

“The Chinese Communist Party has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the US,” Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said in a statement.

The ban means that Tiktok would be removed from online marketplaces operated by Apple and Google.

WeChat will be shut down on Sunday and existing Tiktok users will be able to continue using the app until November 12 — when it would also face a full ban on its US operations.

Recently, TikTok’s brand of short videos made on users’ cell phones has become extremely popular.

Meanwhile, China has accused the US of “bullying” and threatened to take necessary countermeasures after the US issued the ban order.

Today, Beijing launched a mechanism enabling it to restrict foreign entities that it deems a threat to its sovereignty and security, in a development seen as retaliation to US penalties against other Chinese companies such as telecom giant Huawei.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce condemned Washington’s decision on Friday to ban TikTok and WeChat from US app stores, saying: “China urges the US to abandon bullying, cease its wrongful actions and earnestly maintain fair and transparent international rules and order.”

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