The New Paper

September 18, 2020

Commerce Department announces ban on TikTok and WeChat downloads (starting Sunday)

The Commerce Department announced a ban on TikTok and WeChat downloads in the US starting on Sunday. The announcement follows executive orders issued by President Trump in August calling for a ban on “transactions” with the Chinese-owned companies, and comes amid ongoing negotiations over a potential sale (or partnership) for TikTok’s US business.

Here’s a timeline of key events in the ongoing story:

  • August 6: President Trump issues executive orders banning “transactions” with TikTok and WeChat starting on 9/15 (later extended to 9/20), citing national security concerns. 
  • August 28: China expands its export control laws to include artificial intelligence, a key technology used by TikTok (potentially complicating a sale of TikTok’s US business).
  • September 13: Microsoft announces that it was not selected to acquire TikTok’s US business (after entering negotiations in August). 
  • September 14: Oracle says that it was chosen as TikTok’s “trusted technology partner;” Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says US officials will review the proposed deal.
  • September 18: The Commerce Department announces a ban on downloads of TikTok and WeChat in the US (starting on 9/20).

More context: Here’s the full announcement from the Commerce Department.

This story is from the September 18, 2020 edition of The New Paper – a clear, concise daily briefing that makes fact-first news easy to consume. Try it today.