Donald Trump will reportedly issue an order banning new downloads.
Brace yourselves, TikTok fans and users, the popular video-sharing platform, is once again in jeopardy here in the United States.
A new report from Reuters cites three government officials who say that President Donald Trump and the Department of Commerce will issue an order on Friday, September 18, which will “bar people in the United States from downloading Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok.”
According to Reuters, this means the Commerce Department order will “‘deplatform’ the two apps in the United States and bar Apple Inc.’s app store, Alphabet Inc.’s Google Play, and others from offering the apps on any platform.”
The outlet reports that there still is a chance that the order will be rescinded. That’s because of the possibility that ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, may still reach an agreement to sell off its U.S. operations.
In case you’ve been too busy falling down a rabbit hole of TikTok videos and not following this story, here’s the gist: Back in August, President Trump said, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States. I have that authority….” He said he might invoke the Emergency Economic Powers Act to ban the app because of national security concerns—TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and some have expressed concern about data being available to the Chinese government.
That ban did not in fact come to fruition, but the drama continues. Microsoft was reportedly in talks to buy the U.S. arm of TikTok but that fell through. However, Reuters notes Oracle Group and others are still talking to ByteDance about creating “a new company, TikTok Global, that aims to address U.S. concerns about the security of its users’ data.”
“We have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Reuters in a statement.
Basically, if you don’t already have TikTok downloaded, you might want to do that ASAP and keep an eye on this ever-evolving social media situation.