"Is it just WeChat in the USA that will be hit, or is it Hilton can't take reservations now through WeChat for hotels in China?"
Editor's Note: Release dates within this article are based in the USA, but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.
The company has repeatedly stressed that United States user data is stored domestically, with a backup in Singapore, and that it has no ties to the Chinese government. "Each is an active participant in China's civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP", the statement reads. For WeChat, use of certain functions including money transfer or mobile payment will no longer be allowed in the U.S.
The government order also raises questions about California tech giant Oracle's recent deal to take over USA operations of TikTok, a requirement by the Trump administration for the app to continue operating in the U.S.
On the other hand, the 100 million existing TikTok users in the United States will see little change until November 12 when a ban on some technical transactions will kick in, affecting its functionality.
WeChat is an all-in-one mobile app that combines messaging, social media, payment functions and other services.
If the national security concerns are resolved by November 12, the prohibitions on TikTok may be lifted, the Commerce Department said, noting in a press briefing Friday that it took pains not to disrupt ongoing deal negotiations.
In response to the orders, the US Department of Commerce has now announced prohibitions on transactions related to both the apps to safeguard the national security of the United States.
There will be no penalty for those who have already downloaded the app and continue to use it to communicate.
But the Commerce Department said that if national security concerns over TikTok were resolved before then, the order may be lifted.
WeChat built a huge following in part because China blocks its citizens from using Western apps such as Facebook or YouTube, said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
WeChat will be entirely banned from 20 September, the order said.
As of Sunday, TikTok will not be able to receive system updates, which could affect its functionality, including slowing down the app, but the app's current version will still work for American users.
The Commerce Department announced the ban as the administration is weighing approval for an agreement by TikTok to sell a minority stake to US tech company Oracle.
"Each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories".
In a separate filing on September 15, the United States government warned that communication over WeChat might be "impaired" as a result of forthcoming policies, but that "users will not be targeted or subject to penalties".