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US will ban use of WeChat, TikTok for national security starting Sunday

The order was put into place Friday, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, to “combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data.”

From the perspective of teens flooding onto TikTok, the Chinese-owned online video app is a major new outlet for self-expression, one proudly home to the silly, the loud and the weird.
This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 photo shows the icon for TikTok taken in New York. From the perspective of teens flooding onto TikTok, the Chinese-owned online video app is a major new outlet for self-expression, one proudly home to the silly, the loud and the weird. To others, though, the service is an unnerving black box that could be sharing information with the Chinese government, facilitating espionage, or just promoting videos and songs some parents consider lewd. (AP Photo)
AP

WASHINGTON — The Commerce Department will roll out a ban of transactions in the U.S. using TikTok and WeChat starting Sunday.

The order Friday was put into place, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, to “combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data.”

The government previously said that using and downloading the app to communicate won’t be a banned transaction, although messaging on the app “could be directly or indirectly impaired” by the ban, and people who use it for messaging won’t be subject to penalties.

Some security experts have raised concerns that ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese company that owns TikTok, would maintain access to information on the 100 million TikTok users in the United States, creating a security risk.