The United States announced Friday the ban, from Sunday, of downloading TikTok and WeChat applications, further escalation in the standoff with China over the fate of these two applications. Washington, however, leaves a door open for TikTok, an application very popular with young people to produce short videos, before completely forbidding him to operate on its soil. The president leaves until November 12 to resolve national security concerns posed by TikTok. The bans could be lifted if necessary,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.
A ministry official, however, indicated that WeChat “will be closed in the United States” from midnight Monday. The announcement comes as negotiations with ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, to sell its activities in the United States to an American group are stalling and the Trump administration is growing impatient. The Chinese Communist Party has demonstrated that it has the means and the intention to use these applications to threaten national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the United States,” the US ministry said in its statement. Regarding TikTok, the only real change from Sunday evening will be that we will not have access to application improvements, updates, or maintenance,” detailed Minister of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Fox Business.
Very quickly, users will therefore have to deal with an application with degraded service, which could make it much less attractive. As of now, this short video app is hugely popular among teens, with around 100 million users in the US and up to one billion worldwide.
Wilbur Ross assured that “the basic TikTok will remain intact until November 12″.If there is no agreement before November 12, TikTok will be closed,” he threatened, however.
The United States is thus carrying out the threat brandished by President Donald Trump against these two Chinese applications, in a context of great tensions between the two economic giants. At the beginning of August, the host of the White House had issued an ultimatum to TikTok, which he accuses of industrial espionage on behalf of Beijing without, however, having made public any tangible evidence.
He gave ByteDance until September 20, ie Sunday, to sell its TikTok activities on American soil to a “made in US” company. But two days before the deadline, the negotiations have still not succeeded.
A first project involving Microsoft and the distribution giant Walmart was rejected by China last weekend. Then Monday, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, had formalized the name of a new potential partner: Oracle, based in California.
Some media mention a minority stake (up to 20%, according to CNBC) by Oracle, specializing in software and services for businesses. The Chinese parent company ByteDance would retain a majority stake.
Supermarket Giant Walmart Has Also Made It Known That It Could Be Part Of The New Project.
A U.S. government national security committee has been tasked with reviewing Oracle's offer, while Republican lawmakers have warned of greenlighting a deal that would leave the company under Chinese control.
Behind TikTok, it is the battle for technological domination that is being played out between the United States and China.
Some experts point to the difficulty of finding an agreement that can simultaneously satisfy the interests of the two leading world powers.