While the executive order by Donald Trump to ban TikTok and WeChat never came into force, the Biden administration has revoked it in favor of evidence-based investigations of foreign-controlled applications that could pose a security risk to Americans and their data.
TikTok may have narrowly avoided being banned in the US for the time being, but it couldn't escape the iron judgment of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. This morning, the PTA issued an announcement that after multiple warnings to the viral video app, it is banning the service until better moderation practices against immoral and indecent content are enacted.
As part of the Trump administration's crackdown on Chinese apps, the US government is set to ban all transactions with Tencent, the owner of WeChat, beginning on September 20. As that deadline approaches, the US Justice Department has issued a filing clarifying that it does not plan to penalize individual WeChat users themselves as part of the ban.
YouTube has always been the premier destination to watch music videos, skits, and how-tos, but consumers of shorter content found themselves drawn to competing apps. YouTube copied Instagram stories previously, and this new functionality seems targeted to TikTok teens. Now that TikTok's future is uncertain, YouTube is announcing the launch of Shorts, a new way to create and share videos of 15 seconds or less.
TikTok rocketed further into the mainstream in July, when President Trump indicated that his administration would like to see TikTok banned, and later sold off, over alleged privacy concerns stemming from parent company ByteDance being headquartered in China. Big players like Microsoft are interested in making a deal to keep the popular short video platform alive, but sources inside the Chinese government claim the country would rather see TikTok die off in the US rather than be pressured into selling.
TikTok’s US ban, combined with similar restrictions in India, is seriously affecting the service's ability to reach markets with hundreds of millions of users. As we hear about players like Microsoft or even Oracle showing interest in taking charge of the US side of things, TikTok itself has been gearing up for a fight. Following reports that TikTok was planning to challenge the executive order, the company has now announced its suit against the Trump administration.
India just banned its citizens from accessing TikTok, CamScanner, WeChat, and 56 other popular Chinese apps last month, and it looks like the practice is already drawing international interest. In an interview with Fox News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US government is "looking at" imposing a ban on Chinese social media apps like TikTok. The comment follows further international isolation of China and companies based in the country, as the UK is now also looking into restricting Huawei from working on its internet infrastructure.