People in the United States will no longer be able to download popular social media app TikTok from Sunday, September 20, according to new reports that suggest this order will be issued by President Trump and the U.S. Commerce Department.
The future of TikTok has been up in the air for a number of weeks, as Trump issued an executive order on August 6 that gave the Commerce Department 45 days to determine whether Chinese-based apps like TikTok and WeChat could pose a threat to the country’s national security.
Since then, TikTok’s owners ByteDance have been scrambling to find a buyer for its United States-based operations and had reportedly agreed a deal with Oracle Group to sell the portion after turning down a bid from Microsoft. While this is ongoing, if the deal is not concluded by Sunday, users in the U.S. will no longer be able to download the application from places like Apple’s iOS App Store, or Google’s Play Store.
According to reports from Reuters, TikTok will be removed from app stores on Sunday, September 20 should the deal fail to be finalized before that date, meaning users who would like to download the app after that date will be unable to. It will also mean that ByteDance will no longer provide updates for the app, leaving U.S. users behind the rest of the world in terms of functionality, and stuck with whatever bugs and issues are currently affecting it.
The app itself will not be blocked entirely, as anyone who has already downloaded it will still be able to access and use it, and this executive order doesn’t affect users in other countries, with the American government not pushing Apple or Google to stop offering TikTok outside of theU.S.
On September 14, it was confirmed that TikTok had chosen Oracle to be their “trusted technology partner,” and had set the proposal to the U.S. Treasury last weekend. As it stands, the deal has not been fully finalized, but should it be completed before Sunday, TikTok could remain on app stores for the foreseeable future.
Donald Trump could also choose to overrule the order seeing as the proposal has been sent to the Treasury or could push back the deadline to allow the deal to be completed, although that seems unlikely considering he previously stated there would be no extension to the 45-day period.
As things stand, TikTok looks set to depart from app stores across the United States on Sunday, unless they can seal a last-minute reprieve or complete the sale to Oracle before the deadline runs out on September 20.