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US banning use of WeChat, TikTok for national security

FILE - Icons for the smartphone apps TikTok and WeChat are seen on a smartphone screen in Beijing, in a Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 file photo.  Some U.S.-based users of WeChat are suing President Donald Trump in a bid to block an executive order that they say would effectively prohibit U.S. access to the popular Chinese messaging app. The complaint was filed Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 in San Francisco and asks a federal court judge to stop Trumps order from being enforced. It claims a ban would violate U.S. users constitutional rights.  (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
FILE - Icons for the smartphone apps TikTok and WeChat are seen on a smartphone screen in Beijing, in a Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 file photo. Some U.S.-based users of WeChat are suing President Donald Trump in a bid to block an executive order that they say would effectively prohibit U.S. access to the popular Chinese messaging app. The complaint was filed Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 in San Francisco and asks a federal court judge to stop Trumps order from being enforced. It claims a ban would violate U.S. users constitutional rights. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK – The Commerce Department will roll out a ban of transactions in the U.S. using TikTok and WeChat starting Sunday.

The order Friday was put into place, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, to “combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens' personal data.”

The government previously said that using and downloading the app to communicate won’t be a banned transaction, although messaging on the app “could be directly or indirectly impaired” by the ban, and people who use it for messaging won’t be subject to penalties.

Some security experts have raised concerns that ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese company that owns TikTok, would maintain access to information on the 100 million TikTok users in the United States, creating a security risk.