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US blocks WeChat transactions

US blocks WeChat transactions

The American government is banning the use of Chinese app WeChat for the transfer of funds or processing payments within the US.

The Department of Commerce says it is prohibiting transactions relating to Tencent-owned WeChat, as well as another Chinese app, TikTock, to "safeguard the national security of the United States".

The decision requires Apple and Google to remove WeChat from their app stores by 20 September. In addition, from the same date "any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the US," will be prohibited.

While WeChat will effectively be shut down in the US from Sunday, people will still be able to use TikTok until November as the Trump administration ponders whether to greenlight a deal between the app's owner, ByteDance, and Oracle.

The US argues that TikTok and WeChat "each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories. Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP. This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security."

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