TikTok, WeChat to be banned from US app stores starting Sunday

Anatoliy Sizov/iStock

Anatoliy Sizov/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Starting Sunday, downloads of the massively popular video app TikTok and the messaging app WeChat will be banned in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Trump administration said the move was necessary to "safeguard the national security of the United States."

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in August, saying the apps would shut down if they were not sold. The administration claimed the Chinese Communist Party was using data collected through these apps to "threaten the national security, foreign policy and the economy of the U.S."

"Today'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," U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement Friday morning. "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 U.S. laws and regulations."

The ban begins Sept. 20, and prohibits the download of TikTok or WeChat from app stores. It also bans the transfer of funds or processing payments within the U.S. for WeChat.

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