The Chinese owned sensation, TikTok will be unavailable in the app stores from Sunday, 20th August 2020. This follows a ban from the Trump administration citing security and privacy loopholes in the app. The commerce department announced the ban on Thursday; also on the list was WeChat, a popular Chinese multi-purpose messaging app. It will not be the first time a Chinese-owned app is banned in a country; on 29th June, India banned TikTok and other 58 Chinese apps in the country. But how severe is the ban? Here’s a look a what we know.
Will you be able to use TikTok?
For now things still look optimistic for TikTok. The ban only prohibits new downloads of the app; users who have already have the app running on their phone will be able to continue using it. On Twitter last night, TikTok encouraged users to download the app before the ban was enforced. In a message through the interim head, TikTok emphasized that it is here to stay and will continue serving millions of its users in America and across the world. However, if the ban continues, users will be unable to get updates which might affect the app’s functionality or worse make it vulnerable to hackers.
The November 12th deadline
On the bright side, TikTok’s ban is not ultimate. President Trump gave the company a November, 12th ultimatum to sort out the concerns raised by the US government. If the company finalises the deal with Oracle, it shall continue to operate in the country. However, if it misses the November 12th deadline, the US government shall impose a comprehensive ban; which includes banning Internet hosts, network providers (Verizon and AT&T) and data centers from providing services to the company.
Judging from the social media videos posted on Saturday; executives at the company seem to be pretty optimistic. Signals from the Washington are also indicating a willingness to accept TikTok if it follows the set guideline. Trump is reported to have said that the deal between Oracle and TikTok had his “blessing”. However, even with all this the fate of TikTok could still be clouded with uncertainty. This is because the Chinese are yet to approve a deal between the company and Oracle. The path shall only clear for TikTok if the Chinese approve the partnership.