Monday, August 8, 2022

Biden drops ban on Tiktok & WeChat imposed by Donald Trump; scrutiny to continue

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (9, June) withdrew executive orders issued by former President, Donald Trump that sought to ban Chinese-owned smartphone apps TikTok and WeChat. Earlier, Trump stated that the applications were a threat to national security, and he tried to push the sale of TikTok, which itself is owned by China. 

The Trump government’s move resulted in a series of judicial challenges, and delaying efforts to ban and compel the sale of the apps, escalating tensions among US-China. According to the Trump administration, TikTok could keep its US operations only if it sold itself to a US firm and removed all Chinese-based technology and relationships.  

Joe Biden issued his own order, setting a national security review of apps related to China and other antagonistic countries. Trump’s statement, on the other hand, was somewhat haphazard. Despite the lack of open threats, Biden sets a clear mechanism, making it in some ways more strict.  

Earlier this week 59 Chinese military enterprises were blocked by the Biden administration from attracting US investors and investments. The White House announced on Tuesday that it will battle any “unfair international competition” that harms US supply chains.  

According to the new directive, the Commerce Department and other federal departments must establish standards “to safeguard sensitive personal data, including personal information and genetic data,” against misuse. Biden’s executive instructs Commerce to provide suggestions within 120 days on how to preserve U.S. information acquired or accessed by foreign adversary-controlled enterprises. 

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