The Department said Friday that from Sunday, any move to distribute or maintain WeChat or TikTok in an app store is prohibited. Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
While users who have already downloaded the applications may still be able to continue using the software, restrictions mean that updates to the applications cannot be downloaded.
“The only real change from Sunday night will be [TikTok users] “will not have access to enhanced applications, up-to-date applications, upgraded applications or maintenance,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business on Friday morning.
TikTok and Tencent, owners of WeChat, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Further restrictions could be announced later, including other applications if they are considered to be used as alternatives.
In previous court cases, the US government has suggested that restrictions on TikTok and WeChat would be limited in scope and not intended to harm consumers or TikTok employees in the US.
“Today’s actions demonstrate once again that President Trump will do all he can to ensure our national security and protect Americans from the Chinese Communist Party,” Ross said. “At the behest of the President, we have taken significant action to combat the malicious collection of personal data of American citizens from China, while promoting our national values, democratic rules and aggressive enforcement of US laws and regulations.”