DONALD Trump is banning downloads of the controversial China-owned apps TikTok and WeChat on Sunday.
The announcement was made by the Commerce Department Friday morning who made the call "at the president's direction."
Commerce Secretary 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 U.S. laws and regulations."
The news comes on the same day that Trump is expected to approve a deal for Oracle, a computer software company, to take a minority stake in TikTok.
The deal would make the company a "trusted technology partner" for the company in the United States.
ByteDance admitted on Thursday that China will need to approve the agreement with Oracle for control of the world's most downloaded app, indicating how its bid to stave off a US ban could be further complicated.
The besieged company has spent weeks negotiating a deal with cash-flushed tech firms after Trump last month ordered the sale of TikTok's US operations and threatened to shut down the app nationwide.
Citing national security concerns as the drive for the ban, Trump set a deadline of September 15 to complete the deal. A ban would almost certainly mean TikTok users in the US could no longer use the app.
At the 11th hour, ByteDance reported that it had reached an agreement with Oracle but it appears the firm still has a lot of work to do to avoid catastrophe.
According to Reuters, ByteDance still needs approval from China before the deal can go ahead. The White House is still weighing up whether the agreement meets the terms set in Trump's August executive order.
Trump on Wednesday raised questions about ByteDance’s plans to keep a majority stake in TikTok’s US operations.
He said he did not favor the idea of the Chinese firm retaining control, after six Republican lawmakers urged him to reject the proposal.
Trump has said he would ban TikTok in the US on Sunday if ByteDance does not comply amid concerns that the company could pass user data to China’s Communist Party government.
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