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TikTok Restrictions Begin; WeChat Restrictions Also Featured in Social Media Ban

WeChat, TikTok Restrictions are Essential to Protect National Security

Restrictions have started on the mobile apps TikTok and WeChat last Sunday, September 20, in response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed in August that is meant to “safeguard the national security of the United States.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce believes that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) can use TikTok and WeChat to jeopardize the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S.

The agency declared through its Secretary Wilbur Ross that “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.”

Same Difference

Both WeChat and TikTok, though different in form, basically have more or less similar patterns in such a way that:

  • Each app collects a massive expanse of data from users: network activity, location data, browsing histories, and search histories among them; and
  • Each app is a functioning participant in China’s “civil-military fusion” and is, because of that relationship, “subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP.”

This combination creates an “unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security.

Changes in TikTok and WeChat

Effective Sunday, September 20, 2020, the Department of Commerce is prohibiting the following transactions:

  • Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S.;
  • Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

Effective Sunday, September 20, 2020, for WeChat; and effective Thursday, November 12, 2020, for TikTok, the following transactions are prohibited for TikTok:

  • Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  • Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;
  • Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application within the U.S.; and
  • Any utilization of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the U.S.

Furthermore, the public should expect that other activities and transactions relating to the apps that the government believes are crossing the line will be prohibited or restricted.

Editor’s note on the TikTok Restrictions and WeChat Restrictions:

This article is created to inform you of the news about the TikTok and WeChat Restrictions. If you have questions regarding the news and its updates, please send us a message!

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