If you have paid any attention to the news, or scrolling through the For You Page is one of your favorite hobbies, then you might have heard the “TikTok Shutdown” headline a good number of times by now.
First, there’s a scare: is it really going to be banned in the U.S.? Then, it’s still on everyone’s phones the next day. Then there’s another scare, more questions, more threats, and yet the familiar music note remains on our home screens. So what’s really happening?
Which brings up another question: does anyone really know?
On Friday, September 18th, The Department of Commerce said a new ban would bar people in the US from downloading the messaging app “WeChat” and the video-sharing app “TikTok” from any app store on any platform.
The ban order from the Department of Commerce follows President Trump’s executive orders signed in August, which gave US businesses 45 days to stop working with both WeChat and TikTok.
The Trump Administration says the companies threaten national security and could pass user data to China, despite China and both companies denying this claim.
WeChat was effectively shut down in the US this Sunday, but people will still be able to use TikTok until November 12.
TikTok said it was “disappointed” in the order and disagreed with the commerce department. “We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”
However, if a planned partnership between US tech firm Oracle and TikTok owner ByteDance is agreed and approved by President Trump, the app will not be banned.
And as of September 19th, the ByteDance and Oracle partnership was approved by the President. TikTok will now be owned by a new company called TikTok Global and headquartered in the United States.