If you've been loving the relatively new social media app TikTok, things might be about to peter out for you. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that they will soon be banning the app (as well as WeChat) from app stores soon.
The moves, which are said to be in order to "safeguard the national security of the United States" comes after Trump issues executive orders in August. At the time, he demanded that the apps shut down in the U.S. if they weren't sold to new U.S. owners. TikTok reportedly engaged in conversations to offload its U.S. operations with multiple partners but all of those deals ultimately either fell through or did not meet the guidelines set by the Trump administration. The administration contends that as long as the owners were based in China, the Chinese Communist Party could and would use the data from the apps in a way that would "threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S."
Trump's executive orders had a deadline of September 20. With the date looming, the Chamber of Commerce has announced that it would shut down WeChat "for all practical purposes" on Monday at midnight. The app will not be able to transfer funds, process payments, or be downloaded from app stores within the U.S.
TikTok will be removed from app stores but is getting an extension as it still has ongoing negotiations with tentative buyers including Oracle and Walmart according to ABC. They have been given a new deadline of November 12.
"If there is not a deal by November 12 under the provisions of the old order then TikTok also will be, for all practical purposes, shut down," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview.
TikTok is massively popular among Gen Z-ers and has a robust LGBTQ+ community that uses it for not only entertainment but also connecting and education — like many social media platforms before it.
Following the announcing of Trump's executive orders, the Facebook-owned Instagram debuted Reels, which is seen as a direct competitor to TikTok.