US to ban TikTok downloads, WeChat use from Sunday
"The Chinese Communist Party has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the US," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
But while WeChat will effectively be shut down from Sunday in the US, existing TikTok user will be able to continue using the app until November 12 -- when it would also face a full ban on its US operations.
But the Commerce Department said if national security concerns over TikTok were resolved before then, the order may be lifted.
TikTok's brand of brief, quirky videos made on users' cellphones has become hugely popular, especially among young people.
The plan follows through on a threat by President Donald Trump, who has claimed Chinese tech operations may be used for spying, and it ramps up the pressure on TikTok parent ByteDance to conclude a deal to sell all or part of TikTok to allay US security concerns.