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US to ban TikTok, WeChat from app stores in 48 hours

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (KUNA) -- The US will impose a ban on Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat in the next 48 hours, saying the move aims to "safeguard the national security" of the country, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
The move, which prohibits the distribution and downloading of the two platforms from US app stores, comes as per an executive order earlier signed by President Donald Trump.
"Todayآ’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party," Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
"At the president's direction, 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 US laws and regulations." Video-hosting app, TikTok, in particular, is highly popular in the US, with its users numbering in the tens of millions.
But Washington accuses the two apps of tapping into the personal data of US citizens, with the apps denying any wrongdoing.
The US administration has said that the Chinese-owned apps need to be sold to a US company if they are to continue operating in the country. (end) rsr.sd