If you’ve ever been curious about TikTok or WeChat, you only have a few more days to download them before the apps are removed from Apple’s App Store and Google Play for U.S. users. Come Sunday, Sept. 20, they’ll both be gone.
The takedowns are the first step towards an eventual full-on ban for both apps in the U.S., scheduled to kick in on Nov. 12. It’s a move intended, “to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” according to US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
What happens when the apps are removed from App Store and Google Play?
After Sunday you’ll still be able to use TikTok if it’s installed on your device, but only for a few more weeks, and in a limited fashion. For example, you won’t be able to update the app on iOS after September 20. Luckily for Android users, you should be able to sideload the app and any updates via a website, like APK mirror, prior to November 12.
Most of WeChat’s features, on the other hand, will stop working after Sept. 20, rendering the app useless for most U.S.-based users.
What happens after November 12?
Unless the TikTok-Oracle deal is approved (which is still a possibility) or another company steps with a solution before the ban is implemented (also possible), TikTok will be permanently disabled for all users U.S. users on Nov. 12, even if you have it installed.
You might be able to install, update, and use TikTok and WeChat through a VPN after they’re banned, but don’t bank on it. (And even if you can manage it, setting up a separate international account to restore access to the apps via another country’s app store is going to be a pain in the ass.)
So, what can you do? Well, you might as well grab TikTok from the App Store, Google Play, or APK Mirror now, and enjoy it while you can. And who knows: Perhaps this will all change in the near future, depending on how things go in the the November election.