Trump’s WeChat and TikTok ban starts Sunday

Trump’s WeChat and TikTok ban starts Sunday

  • The Trump administration is poised to implement a Chinese Great Firewall–style block on WeChat starting on September 20, with downloads of the app barred and network interruptions ordered. Downloads of TikTok will also be blocked, but the company has until November 12 to strike a deal with Oracle before also suffering technical freezes.

The U.S. Commerce Department has moved on Donald Trump’s executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat:

From Sunday, September 20, downloads of the two apps from U.S. app stores will be banned, the Commerce Department announced, and there will be a gradual freeze on any servers or technical services based in the U.S. that help make WeChat and TikTok operate smoothly for U.S. users.

These technical interruptions — including for “internet hosting services,” “content delivery network services,” and “internet transit or peering services” — will begin on September 20 for WeChat.

“I would expect WeChat to be slower than it already is in the U.S. starting Sunday,” Graham Webster, editor-in-chief of the Stanford–New America DigiChina Project, told SupChina.

TikTok, however, will get a temporary reprieve from network interruptions until November 12, as the White House is still attempting to strong-arm its owner, ByteDance, into some type of deal with Oracle, a Trump-friendly Silicon Valley company.

View the full Commerce Department orders here for WeChat and here for TikTok. The ban on downloads of both apps take place “after 11:59 p.m. Sunday,” per the Wall Street Journal.