On Wednesday, President Biden took steps to revoke former President Trump’s executive orders aimed at cracking down on TikTok and WeChat, popular China-based social media apps that the Trump administration feared would collect data from American users and could be used. to spy on Americans.
Trump’s Commerce Department pursued the app ban last year after Trump signed two executive orders in August aiming to ban transactions with WeChat and China-based TikTok owner ByteDance. Biden struck down those orders on Wednesday and struck down a January 2021 order from Trump banning the transactions of eight software applications connected to China.
Biden is replacing Trump’s orders with new versions to create a “criteria-based decision framework” to analyze the risks posed by information and communications technology services involving foreign adversaries like China, according to the White House.
The White House directed agencies to evaluate software applications and transactions that may pose national security risks to the U.S. Mr. Biden also told the federal government to give his team recommendations on how to protect information from personal identification of Americans from foreign adversaries.
Before Trump’s executive orders, several federal agencies had banned TikTok on government devices, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US military.
The Trump administration’s concern with TikTok and WeChat involved China’s moves to remove barriers between the country’s business sector and its government. The companies ‘ties to China raised concerns that the Chinese government was aware of the data collected through its apps and that the government could use the companies’ products to monitor Americans.
TikTok declined to comment on Biden’s order. TikTok and its China-based owner, ByteDance, previously argued against the Trump administration’s actions in federal court and conducted different business transactions for TikTok to reside in the US in an attempt to satisfy the concerns of the US. Trump administration over his China-based property.
Tencent, the Chinese company that owns the WeChat social messaging app, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.