TikTok faces App Store ban in US starting this Sunday

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U.S. investigations of TikTok gather steam.
Unless the Oracle deal is signed-off by President Trump, that is.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

Unless a last-minute deal is agreed, President Trump is going to ban ultra-popular Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat from the U.S. starting Sunday, the Department of Commerce announced Friday.

TikTok is consistently the most downloaded non-gaming app in the world. In the U.S., it currently has around 100 million monthly users. WeChat, while nowhere near as big in the U.S., is China’s most important app and widely used by many Chinese-Americans to communicate with friends and family back home.

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WeChat logo
WeChat is threatened by Trump's executive order.
Photo: WeChat

Trump’s WeChat ban could cost Apple more than $25 billion per year

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WeChat logo
WeChat is threatened by Trump's executive order.
Photo: WeChat

A WeChat ban imposed by President Donald Trump could cost Apple more than $25 billion per year, claims a report published Monday.

Those numbers are based on the idea that 75% of iPhone and iPad sales could dry up in China. Apple would lose money not just from the missing device sales, but also from the resulting decline in its subscription services.

WeChat alternatives receive a boost following Trump’s executive order

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WeChat logo
WeChat is threatened by Trump's executive order.
Photo: WeChat

Downloads of encrypted messaging apps Signal and QQ reportedly spiked following President Donald Trump’s executive order targeting Tencent’s WeChat.

WeChat, while not particularly widely used in the United States, is an essential app in China. Many people who use it in the United States do so to keep in touch with friends and family in China, where WhatsApp has been banned since 2017.

Booting WeChat from the App Store could hit global iPhone shipments hard

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WeChat
It's hard to overstate WeChat's importance in China.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Booting WeChat out of the App Store could drive down worldwide iPhone shipments by up to 30%, claims respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

While WeChat’s total removal from the App Store seems an unlikely prospect, it could be the worst-case scenario of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order to stop U.S. transactions with WeChat and parent company Tencent.

Trump’s executive order won’t hurt Fortnite or League of Legends

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Fortnite-Battle-Lab
Fortnite developer Epic Games is part owned by Tencent.
Photo: Epic Games

President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking “transactions” involving Tencent’s WeChat will not hurt games owned, or partially owned, by the company.

That means it would not affect the likes of Riot Games’ League of Legends or Epic Games’ Fortnite, both of which have financial ties to Tencent. Instead, the executive order covers only WeChat transactions.

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Dr.Fone lets you back move WhatsApp messages from one device to another.
Dr.Fone lets you back move WhatsApp messages from one device to another.
Image: Wondershare

WeChat users in China can soon resume tipping

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Apple could be a $2 trillion company by end of 2021
Apple came to an agreement with tech giant Tencent to reintroduce the feature.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Nearly 1 billion users of Chinese messaging app WeChat will soon be able to resume sending tips to content creators with their iPhones.

Tipping a fellow user is a big part of the popular social media platform in China. However, last year a dispute over whether Apple should get a healthy cut of those tips basically blocked WeChat tipping.

WeChat is the messaging app that’s more like a mobile OS

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WeChat
China's WeChat is a messaging app tha offers just about everything, from text messaging to instant payments. It's a monster, with mote than 1 billion registered users.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Now that I use WeChat, I don’t need much else when it comes to social media apps. In fact, WeChat has almost entirely replaced text messaging in China. I am able to link up with other WeChat users through their username without providing a telephone number, so it is a great platform for communicating with new acquaintances or people I am working with.

I have hundreds of WeChat contacts, but only a handful of telephone numbers in my iPhone. The app also recently introduced group video messaging and has an extensive WeChat Wallet service (similar to Zhifubao) available to Chinese bank account holders.

Made in China: These apps are killing it on iPhone

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Everywhere you look in China, young people are tapping away at apps.
Everywhere you look in China, young people are tapping away at apps.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Just like their U.S. counterparts, Chinese youth obsess over their smartphones. But while the phones they use look the same, the apps are quite different: China has its own must-have apps that keep users’ eyes glued to screens at all hours of the day.

Some Chinese apps seem quite similar to their Western counterparts, but others boast innovative and intriguing features. Apple’s clearly interested: While slowing growth in China put a dent in APPL stock, Cupertino recently made a strategic $1 billion investment in Chinese Uber rival Didi Chuxing.

What other apps in China might grab Apple’s attention? Tim Cook could start his due diligence with this list of powerhouse Chinese iPhone apps. The country’s young people use these apps to listen to music, make purchases, get around town, interact with others and maintain their online identities.

These Chinese apps are impressive and convenient, and they are showing us the future of mobile: a world where everything is at our fingertips.