TikTok lock: No more downloads in the USA after Sunday

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App can neither be downloaded nor updated. The new deadline for a deal is November 12. For the China app WeChat in the USA it is finally over.

The Videoplattorm TikTok has concerns about the security of user data.
The government of US President Donald Trump is increasing pressure in the struggle for the future of the popular video app Tiktok. On Sunday APP stores in the USA will delete Tiktok, the US Department of Commerce announced on Friday. This will be effective for users starting Monday, a high-ranking government official made clear. The APP can then neither be downloaded nor updated.

Until November 12, Tiktok will still work for existing users. This gives the Chinese Tiktok owner Bytedance a few more weeks to negotiate a deal before it is completely shut down. Tiktok has approximately 100 million users in the USA.

Trump calls Tiktok a security risk with the reason that Chinese authorities could get data from Americans. Tiktok and Bytedance deny this. The US government immediately pulls the plug on WeChat, another Chinese messaging app, because of similar concerns in the USA: it is to disappear from the APP stores as well as stop working on Sunday. Here, too, the measures would effectively take effect on Monday, the ministry official made clear.

Trump had banned American companies and users from doing business with Tiktok at the beginning of August – and with a delay of 45 days set in motion a countdown to selling at least the US part of the APP. Microsoft had been negotiating for weeks about a takeover of the business in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

But the Chinese government torpedoed the talks: it introduced a rule requiring it to agree to the sale of software algorithms abroad. This software, which has been developed over many years, decides, for example, which videos are suggested to a user next – and is considered one of the secrets of Tiktok’s success.

A replacement plan was quickly drawn up, according to which Oracle would act as Tiktok’s technology partner and the global business of the video app would be transferred to a new company based in the USA.

According to media reports, Oracle was to take over the storage of data from US users and also gain insight into the software so that there would be no backdoors for Chinese authorities. Bytedance would retain a majority stake in Tiktok, it was said with reference to informed persons. Trump already said on Wednesday that he was “not happy” with the deal.

— Hector Pascua with reports from APA, Picture: stockilyapp.com

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