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Politics U.S. to start blocking TikTok and WeChat downloads Sunday

16:03  18 september  2020
16:03  18 september  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

Oracle, TikTok, and the Trump administration have reportedly 'tentatively' reached a deal. Here's everything we know about the partnership that could save TikTok from Trump's threats of a US ban.

  Oracle, TikTok, and the Trump administration have reportedly 'tentatively' reached a deal. Here's everything we know about the partnership that could save TikTok from Trump's threats of a US ban. Many details of the deal are still unknown, but it appears to satisfy some of the US government's national security concerns while making few changes.Oracle, best known as the leading provider of database software and a $187 billion tech titan in its own right, is the unlikely and unexpected partner the Beijing-based ByteDance has chosen to resolve the matter. But the company emerged as the winner this weekend, after Microsoft confirmed Sunday that its bid for TikTok was turned down.

The U.S. will begin blocking the distribution of the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat on Sunday, the Department of Commerce said Friday.

  U.S. to start blocking TikTok and WeChat downloads Sunday © Provided by NBC News

Commerce said in a news release that U.S. mobile platforms will be prohibited from distributing the apps, meaning new downloads will be blocked.

But TikTok will not disappear entirely on Sunday. The app will still work for at least a few more weeks. Commerce said that crucial services that TikTok relies on, such as internet hosting and transit services, will not be prohibited until Nov. 12 — pushing the deadline to after the election.

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WeChat, however, faces a full ban on Sunday.

The statement gives TikTok a reprieve as it continues to negotiate a deal in hopes of staving off the full ban.

"The real shut down would come after November 12 in the event that there is not another transaction," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview on Fox Business Network. "So it’s very different how the two are being handled and that reflects the quantitative and the qualitative and differences between the two apps"

Google and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The apps were the subject of an executive order from President Donald Trump in early August in which Trump said the apps posed a threat to national security.

The new deadline adds more tension to the already dramatic negotiations currently happening between TikTok's parent company ByteDance and U.S. technology company Oracle. The two companies have been in talks about a deal to mollify the president's concerns.

Report: Trump set to block TikTok, WeChat downloads this weekend

  Report: Trump set to block TikTok, WeChat downloads this weekend The Department of Commerce will reportedly block downloads of the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat on Sunday, officials told Reuters.The ban could potentially be rescinded by President Trump before it takes effect as TikTok's parent company ByteDance continues to negotiate with American companies who are considering purchasing their U.S. operations.ByteDance has been in talks with a handful of U.S. companies, and last week TikTok and Oracle submitted a proposed deal to the Treasury Department.The Sept. 20 deadline to reach a deal was set after Trump issued two executive orders last month taking aim at TikTok: one prohibiting U.S.

On Thursday, the two companies reached an agreement on a deal that would stop short of Trump's demand that TikTok be sold to a U.S. company. Instead, TikTok would become a global company based in the U.S., with Oracle taking responsibility for TikTok's U.S. operations and its handling of user data, according to two people familiar with the arrangement who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Trump to block U.S. downloads of TikTok, WeChat on Sunday

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That deal still needs the approval of Trump and Chinese authorities.

Oracle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TikTok has amassed about 100 million monthly U.S. users, making it one of the only rivals to social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. The app provides an easy way for people to record short snippets of video and put music or sounds to them. The app's popularity, particularly among younger Americans, has already spurred its own generation of celebrities.

But its ownership by a Chinese tech company has been a point of contention among U.S. politicians who have expressed concern that China's government could demand the user data of millions of Americans. That data could then be used for espionage purposes, but security experts have warned that data security is a problem that goes well beyond TikTok or apps that are owned by Chinese companies.

While TikTok has a higher profile in the U.S., WeChat is widely used by Chinese Americans. The app is primarily a messaging service but includes a wide variety of functions including a payment system and social media. In China, WeChat is almost necessary for daily life, where it can be used for everything from paying for taxis to playing video games.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

TikTok removed 37 million videos in India this year before it was banned .
TikTok removed more videos in India than any other country in the first half of this year before it was banned by the government.The company took down nearly 37.7 million videos in the country, TikTok said in a transparency report released on Tuesday. The report covers the first six months of the year, just before TikTok was banned in India as tensions rose between New Delhi and Beijing. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company.

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