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Trump bans dealings with Chinese owners of TikTok, WeChat

Trump bans dealings with Chinese owners of TikTok, WeChat Photo: ABC News

Updated: August 06, 2020 10:39 PM

NEW YORK (AP) - President Donald Trump has ordered a sweeping but unspecified ban on dealings with the Chinese owners of the consumer apps TikTok and WeChat, although it remains unclear if he has the legal authority to actually ban the apps from the U.S.

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The twin executive orders - one for each app - take effect in 45 days. They call on the Commerce Secretary to define the banned dealings by that time.

The orders’ wording is vague, but some experts say it appears intended to bar the popular apps from the Apple and Google app stores, which could effectively remove them from distribution in the U.S.

Trump had threatened a deadline of Sept. 15 to “close down” TikTok unless Microsoft or “somebody else” bought it.

TikTok, Microsoft and WeChat owner Tencent had no immediate replies to queries.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he was expanding the U.S. crackdown on Chinese technology to personal apps, calling out TikTok and WeChat by name.

WeChat and its sister app Weixin in China are hugely popular messaging apps.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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