The Department of Commerce will reportedly block downloads of the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat on Sunday, officials told Reuters.
The ban could potentially be rescinded by President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president’s policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is ‘unwise’ Cast of ‘Parks and Rec’ reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE before it takes effect as TikTok’s parent company ByteDance continues to negotiate with American companies who are considering purchasing their U.S. operations.
ByteDance has been in talks with a handful of U.S. companies, and last week TikTok and Oracle submitted a proposed deal to the Treasury Department.
The Sept. 20 deadline to reach a deal was set after Trump issued two executive orders last month taking aim at TikTok: one prohibiting U.S. companies from doing any transactions with parent company ByteDance and one compelling the divestiture of the Beijing-based entity’s U.S. operations.
The proposed Commerce Department order will reportedly “deplatform” TikTok and WeChat in app stores “that can be reached from within the United States,” officials told Reuters.
The order will not ban U.S. companies from doing business with the two Chinese companies, nor does it bar data storage within the United States for WeChat or TikTok.
TikTok has 100 million users in the U.S. and WeChat has over 19 million daily users. Officials told Reuters that the order will not require people in the U.S. to delete the app but will prevent new downloads and updates.
“We are aiming at a top corporate level. We’re not going to go out after the individual users,” one Commerce official said.
The Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.