WeChat and TikTok Still Available in US; Future Uncertain
Popular Chinese-owned apps WeChat and TikTok narrowly avoided a US government ban on new downloads Sunday night. On Friday, President Trump directed the US Department of Commerce to issue a ban on US companies (including Apple and Google) facilitating downloads of — or updates to — the WeChat and TikTok apps specifically, citing national security concerns. It would have also banned financial transactions using WeChat in the US, and gone into effect on Sunday, Sept. 20th. A judge issued a last-minute preliminary injunction temporarily preventing the ban from going into effect against WeChat, citing free-speech issue raised by WeChat users who sued to stop the ban. Separately, the Trump administration signaled that it might approve a proposed deal whereby Oracle and Walmart would take a 20% stake in a new "TikTok Global" company. TikTok would also move data from US users to a new cloud infrastructure provided by Oracle. Microsoft also offered to take over TikTok's US operations, but Current TikTok owner ByteDance is said to have focused on doing a deal with companies favored by the Trump administration. Oracle's Larry Ellison is a vocal supporter and fundraiser for Trump. Under the proposed deal, Chinese ByteDance would initially retain a controlling 80% stake in TikTok Global, but the new company would be required to have an IPO on a US stock exchange, with American ownership expected to "grow over time." To allow time for the proposed deal to reach a more firm agreement, the Dept. of Commerce delayed its ban on TikTok downloads by one week, to September 27th.
Dec 31, 2018
President Donald Trump is weighing new action against Chinese telecommunications equipment makers Huawei and ZTE, says Reuters. The President might issue an executive order that would bar U.S.
Jul 20, 2018
Senators have overturned an agreement added to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that would have made it more difficult for President Trump to remove the ban instituted against ZTE. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department said ZTE lied about a previous settlement and banned the company from using American parts or software in its phonres for a period of seven years.
May 13, 2018
President Trump took to Twitter this morning to suggest he's looking to recall the Commerce Department's ban against ZTE. "President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast," wrote the President.
May 14, 2018
Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said his department is open to changing its ban impacting ZTE.
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