The US President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order apparently banning Americans from doing business on TikTok and WeChat.
These two popular apps are operated by Chinese tech companies ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.
The regulation explicitly prohibits any “transactions” between US citizens and the apps – although the details of what falls under this term are currently unclear.
The president issued two separate orders on August 6, one for each app, which will go into effect in 45 days.
In both the TikTok and WeChat orders, Trump claimed that the Chinese-owned apps were a threat to the country’s security, and said that “steps must be taken to address the national emergency.”
The order was made under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which enables the White House to prevent its citizens and U.S. corporations from conducting financial transactions with unauthorized companies.
Since the order doesn’t make it clear what a transaction is made of, it is uncertain what this will do for the apps themselves, the US users currently making money on both platforms, and whether Apple and Google will make them available from their respective US need to remove means app stores for iOS and Android.
Trump’s decision follows similar steps taken by India, which banned the use of TikTok and WeChat, as well as 58 other Chinese-owned apps, in June.