Biden revokes predecessor’s ban on TikTok, WeChat, other Chinese apps

*United States President Joe Biden has signed an Executive Order replacing former President Donald Trump’s orders designed to halt the country’s transactions with the Chinese-owned apps with the objective of ‘protecting Americans’ personal data’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to the White House recent review of criteria developed to determine whether an app poses to the country’s national security or otherwise, United States President Joe Biden has signed an Executive Order to replace former President Donald Trump’s orders aimed at banning US transactions with Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat.

The US Department of Commerce, in line with the fresh order Thursday, June 10, 2021, will be instructed to review apps associated with foreign adversaries, agency report said.

United States President Joe Biden

Certain criteria will be developed to determine whether an app poses an “unacceptable risk” to national security, according to a White House fact sheet.

It was learnt apps that will be considered a higher risk for US officials to transact with will be those “owned, controlled, or managed by persons that support foreign adversary military or intelligence activities, or are involved in malicious cyber activities, or involve applications that collect sensitive personal data.”

It was learnt the White House noted the new order was signed with the objective of protecting Americans’ personal data.

It also directs the Commerce Department to collaborate with other agencies in drafting a report containing recommendations on how to protect American consumers’ personal data from foreign adversaries.

Collecting data from Americans “threatens to provide foreign adversaries with access to that information,” the order said.

Recall when Trump was the President, TikTok faced a possible ban unless it was purchased by a US company.

Walmart and Microsoft stepped up to try to buy the company, but TikTok ultimately went with Oracle as its “trusted technology provider.”

But, no sale actually took place, according to report.

However, once Biden took office, discussions about banning new downloads of the app were postponed.

In February 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that TikTok’s Oracle deal had been “shelved indefinitely.”

Incidentally, report indicates that the short-form video sharing app remains wildly popular in the United States, with over 100 million users.

TikTok and WeChat have both refuted claims that they pose risks to national security. A White House official said a separate national security review of TikTok is ongoing.

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