U.S. bans WeChat, TikTok.

The Trump administration announced Friday that it is banning China’s TikTok and WeChat services from mobile app stores beginning late Sunday.

An unprecedented move that further unravels the United States’ quickly deteriorating relationship with China

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Administration officials called the bans necessary to protect national security

And prevent Beijing from exploiting the apps to collect user data or disseminate propaganda.

TikTok has grown, boasting about 100 million users on a quarterly basis.

WeChat had about 3.3 million monthly active users in the United States ‘

The prohibition comes just weeks before a contentious U.S. presidential election.

In which China has been a frequent target for President Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden,

from discussions of the coronavirus pandemic to technology and trade.

Current and previous administration officials said they could recall no past example of the U.S. government prohibiting information technology on this scale,

It’s a practice more common in authoritarian countries such as China,

where Facebook, Google, Twitter and other Western apps are banned.

The order is the first time the United States has sought to block access to an app on the Web, officials said

The move also follows months of U.S. action aimed at countering China on multiple fronts,

and it represents perhaps the starkest sign yet that the United States is abandoning a decades-long policy of engagement with China.

“Maybe we can keep a lot of people happy but have the security that we need. We have to have the total security from China,” President Trump said Friday afternoon in reference to those negotiations, 

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