00:43 GMT01 December 2020
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    On 18 September, the US Department of Commerce prohibited US citizens from downloading the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat starting on Sunday, 20 September.

    TikTok and WeChat downloads in the US soared on Friday, with TikTok downloads increasing by 12% to 247,000 and WeChat downloads by 150% to 10,000 in comparison with the previous day, mobile apps tracker Sensor Tower data shows.

    Mobile phone users who have TikTok or WeChat already installed on their devices can use the apps after the ban comes into force. However, they will be unable to update them with security patches which could lead to glitches within the app in the future.

    Previously, US President Donald Trump issued a 12 November deadline for the Chinese apps to find a US partner or be prohibited in the country amid allegations that their poor data security would enable the Chinese government to steal information on US users of the app.

    China's Commerce Ministry has criticized the Trump administration ban and is "urging the US to abandon bullying, immediately stop wrongdoing", saying that, otherwise, "China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies".

    Tags:
    app downloads, wechat, TikTok, China, United States
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