President Biden Signs Executive Order Revoking Trump-Era Ban on TikTok and WeChat
U.S. President Joe Biden has withdrawn a series of executive orders from his predecessor Donald Trump banning Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat in the United States.
Trump signed several executive orders banning apps tied to China during his time in office. In the most high profile order, Trump sought a ban of the short-form video app TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm Bytedance, in 2020.
However, Trump's bans were never enforced after several court orders blocked the restrictions, despite claims by the Trump administration that the apps posed a risk to national security.
Biden's new executive order revokes the WeChat and TikTok orders that Trump issued in August, which attempted to force ByteDance to divest TikTok to a U.S. company, along with another one that Trump signed in January which targeted several other messaging and financial transaction apps including Alipay and WeChat Pay.
Going forward, the Biden administration says it will instead take an "evidence-based approach" when reviewing the security concerns posed by apps. The U.S. Department of Commerce will be tasked with the job of reviewing apps developed by those "in the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary."
A separate US national security review of TikTok launched in late 2019 remains active, and an administration official has said that the White House remains "very concerned" about the data risks of TikTok users.
Biden's order says collecting of data from Americans "threatens to provide foreign adversaries with access to that information," and directs the Commerce Department to continually evaluate any transactions that "pose an undue risk of catastrophic effects on the security or resiliency of the critical infrastructure or digital economy of the United States."
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