On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s administration replaced Trump-era’s executive orders to ban Chinese video apps TikTok and WeChat, but scrutiny of several Chinese-owned apps would continue under the new US government.
President Joe Biden signed new executive orders calling for the US Department of Commerce to launch national security assessments with links to foreign adversaries, including Russia and China.
US President Joe Biden revokes Trump-era ban on TikTok and WeChat, orders broader review of ‘foreign-controlled apps’. @MollyGambhir speaks to @susanmtehrani for more on the story pic.twitter.com/Jrgp6teeIn
— WION (@WIONews) June 9, 2021
Being in discussions with White House authorities in both governments for the app’s future, a Senior VP and the Director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, James Andrew Lewis, said that the action represents a reset in Washington-TikTok and WeChat relations. However, these video-sharing apps are “no out of the woods yet.”
Lewis said that he would not be astonished if people saw a ban reinstated but on additional rational grounds. He added if he were TikTok, “I would be thinking about what do he to ward off another ban.”
American President directs the US Commerce Department to analyze WeChat, TikTok, and several Chinese apps to observe if they collect personal data or whether they are connected to the Chinese armed forces.
According to The Verge, on Wednesday, a senior government official said that the government is committed to promoting an open, reliable, and secure internet and to protect human rights offline and online, and to supporting a vibrant global digital economy.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) June 9, 2021
Courts blocked Joe Biden predecessor’s attempts to ban TikTok in the 2020 summer
One official added that the challenge they are addressing with the executive order is that particular nations, including China, don’t share the commitments and are instead working to leverage digital technologies and US data in ways that present unacceptable national security risks.
The courts blocked Biden predecessor’s attempts to ban TikTok in the 2020 summer, and the Nov.3 presidential election shortly dominated the problem.
Debates that American company might take over the Chinese video app TikTok actions in the United States never resulted in concrete action.
Earlier, the US government expanded a Trump-Time suspension on US companies investing in Chinese firms with ties to the Chinese armed forces. The executive order lists fifty-nine Chinese firms that reportedly develop surveillance technology to be used against pro-democracy groups and Muslim minorities in Hong Kong.
A senior staff Attorney at the ACLU, Ashley Gorski, said “President Biden is right to revoke these Trump-era executive orders, which blatantly violated the First Amendment rights of WeChat and TikTok users in America. The US Commerce Department’s review of these and several other apps mustn’t take them down the same deceived path by serving as a smokescreen for future suspensions or other illegal moves.
WeChat has been downloaded at least 19M times by American users and is broadly used as means for games, services, and payments.