President Donald Trump will order the blocking of new TikTok downloads this weekend, the Commerce Department said Friday, casting doubt on any plans to sell the video sharing app's U.S. assets to an American buyer.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said downloads of WeChat, the popular Chinese-language messaging app owned by Tencent Holdings on Sunday, as well, after both firms were named in the President's Executive order in August. Apple and Google will also be asked to remove the two downloads from their respective U.S. app stores.
Oracle Corp. has been the recent frontrunner in a deal to keep TikTok operating in its second-largest market, confirming plans earlier this week to be a "trusted technology partner" to ByteDance, TikTok's China-based owner, in a complicated proposal put to the U.S. Treasury Department.
“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,” 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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