• TikTok, WeChat to be Banned from AppStore, Google Play

    This morning the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its intention to ban two of China's most popular software titles from Android and iOS app stores. It's unclear if they will remain available to users in markets outside of the USA.

    Why is this happening? National security, according to the official release:

    While the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are not identical, they are similar. 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.
    Sounds scary... But this Canadian would like to humbly remind you of the CLOUD Act, giving American intelligence services their own means to access the personal data of users around the world. To be clear, I'm no fan of the CCP and use neither of these apps. At the same time, this decision reeks of U.S. protectionism as much as anything else.

    I've no strong opinion on TikTok (except that social media is generally a cancer) but the WeChat ban is certainly going to suck for anyone who depends on it to keep up with family and friends worldwide.

    Source: U.S. Department of Commerce via XDA

    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: TikTok, WeChat to be Banned from AppStore, Google Play started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Additional info from the Financial Times:

      One person familiar with the situation said existing users would be able to keep the apps on their phones for now. But he added that WeChat would quickly become unusable because software updates would not be available through the app stores.

      People with TikTok on their phones will also be able to continue to use the app, but the person said that the experience would degrade over the next two months unless a deal was approved by Mr Trump.
    1. monoparadox's Avatar
      monoparadox -
      Back in the 1980's I realized I was going to have to sell my life out to someone. At that point Microsoft was the one. Since then I've tried to keep my personal info in the Microsoft realm. Then, I sold out to Apple with my Iphone. I have worked hard to avoid Google, but Youtube has it's allure. Then I got a DJI drone and figured I had signed on as a spy for China. My fears over forty years have been proven true. Obviously, I'm an old fart. You "young'uns" have sold your destiny. Mine's pretty much over. Good luck. But I fear for my grandchildren.
    1. minij's Avatar
      minij -
      I'm like monoparadox, though probably a few years younger. I avoided android as long as I could to not sell out to Google. But recent issues forced my hand.

      I still use Android as little as possible, and try to keep everything Apple and Microsoft.

      I never used either of these two services. And I'm glad.

      iPhone 6 on Mint Mobile (primary)

      BLU V5 on TruPhone (backup) and FreedomPop (for data)

      iPad 4 on T-Mobile free data
    1. Ipse's Avatar
      Ipse -
      If US (or Canada for that matter) would exercise the same level of scrutiny when it comes to Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, I'd be fine, thinking that the government us protecting my privacy and stops the spread of toxic disinformation and propaganda.
      But...nope, they are not even close. I call this hypocrisy then and just a tactic in the commerce war.

      I'm not a user of either app and I also think that Chinese app are a LOT more prone to collecting and carelessly manipulating personal information than others ( simply because the concept doesn't exist in China).
      But fair is fair, treat all companies with the same level of distrust..
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