With the U.S. Department of Commerce’s bombshell announcement on Friday, ordering app stores to remove ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat on Sunday, it looks like time’s running out for the apps. And for the partners that rely on them.
The essential details in the latest techno-political drama: Current users won’t see the app disappear from their handsets, so they can still use them. But they won’t get software updates for new features, changes to the operating system or security enhancements. And new users won’t be able to download the apps at all.
In WeChat’s case, the move immediately prohibits transactions or “any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.,” according to the department. TikTok can continue to function until Nov. 20, a deadline set by President Trump for ByteDance to reach an acquisition deal. The Chinese company