Yesterday, the Commerce Department said it will not allow TikTok or WeChat to appear on app stores in the U.S. after 11:59pm on Sunday.
The backstory: TikTok seemed to be out of the dog house earlier this week when ByteDance accepted Oracle’s bid for a tech partnership and a major equity stake…but everyone’s still waiting on President Trump to approve the agreement. It is a highly unusual situation.
What this means for you
Midnight on Sunday…
People in the U.S. won’t be able to download TikTok from Apple’s or Google’s app stores. If you already have TikTok, you’ll be okay…until November 12, when more restrictions hampering functionality will arrive.
WeChat (with about 3.5 million U.S. users) will be gone from the app stores as well. Financial transactions are also off-limits, meaning American companies won’t be able to process WeChat payments from customers and users can’t send payments to family members.
Users with the apps already downloaded…will also face hurdles. New updates will be blocked for U.S. users, which will likely hamper performance.
This is Reel serious
With TikTok in hot Potomac water, Instagram recently debuted a TikTok clone called Reels to capitalize. But yesterday, the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri tweeted that a ban “would be quite bad for Instagram, Facebook, and the internet more broadly.”
Mosseri adopting an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” approach shows how slippery Big Tech believes this slope to be. President Trump’s heavy-handed intervention in TikTok and WeChat has U.S.-based internet companies fearing for their own international business aspirations.
Bottom line: Oracle and ByteDance will need to hammer out a deal that satisfies the Trump administration or else a much larger hammer will drop on November 12.
Via Morning Brew