White House drops Trump orders trying to ban TikTok, WeChat

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President Biden Revokes Trump’sAttempted Ban on TikTok and WeChat.President Joe Biden has revoked a series of executiveorders signed by Donald Trump during his time in office. .Trump and his administration made efforts to ban TikTok,WeChat and other Chinese apps in the United States. .Instead of an outright ban, President Biden issuedhis own executive order calling for “foreign adversaryconnected software applications” to be evaluated. .This includes applications with ties to China,which the order describes as posing“unacceptable national security risks.”.The Biden Administration is committedto promoting an open, interoperable, reliableand secure Internet; protecting human rightsonline and offline; and supporting a vibrant,global digital economy, White House, via statement.Certain countries, including the People’s Republicof China (PRC), do not share these values andseek to leverage digital technologies andAmericans’ data in ways that present unacceptablenational security risks while advancingauthoritarian controls and interests.  , White House, via statement.The Commerce Departmentwill assess these appsusing a “criteria-baseddecision framework.” .Their evaluations will be “evidence-based,” with“appropriate” actions to be taken and “recommendations” tobe given based on their subsequent findings. .This E.O. directs the Department of Commerce,in consultation with other U.S. departments andagencies, to make recommendations to protect against harm from the sale, transfer of, or access to sensitive personal data, including personally identifiable information and genetic information, White House, via statement

WASHINGTON — The White House has dropped Trump-era executive orders that attempted to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and will conduct its own review aimed at identifying national security risks with software applications tied to China, officials said Wednesday.

A new executive order directs the Commerce Department to undertake what officials describe as an “evidence-based” analysis of transactions involving apps that are manufactured or supplied or controlled by China. Officials are particularly concerned about apps that collect users’ personal data or have connections to Chinese military or intelligence activities.

ExplorePrevious coverage: Trump plans to order Chinese company to sell TikTok

The department also will make recommendations on how to further protect Americans' genetic and personal health information, and will address the risks of certain software apps connected to China or other adversaries, according to senior administration officials.

The Biden administration’s move reflects the ongoing concern that Americans’ personal data could be exposed by popular apps tied to China, a chief U.S. economic and political rival. The White House and Congress have taken action to address Beijing’s technological advancement. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that aims to boost U.S. semiconductor production and the development of artificial intelligence and other technology in the face of growing international competition.

The administration earlier this year had backed off former President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban the popular video app TikTok, asking a court to postpone a legal dispute as the government began a broader review of the national security threats posed by Chinese technology companies.

A court filing said the Commerce Department was reviewing whether Trump’s claims about TikTok’s threat to national security justified the attempts to ban it from smartphone app stores and deny it vital technical services. An update to the review was due in a court case later this week.

Also in limbo has been a proposed U.S. takeover of TikTok. Last year, the Trump administration brokered a deal that would have had U.S. corporations Oracle and Walmart take a large stake in the Chinese-owned app on national security grounds.

The unusual arrangement stemmed from a Trump executive order that aimed to ban TikTok in the U.S. unless it accepted a greater degree of American control.

Trump targeted TikTok during the summer of 2020 with a series of orders that cited concerns over the U.S. data that TikTok collects from its users. Courts temporarily blocked the White House’s attempted ban, and the presidential election soon overshadowed the TikTok fight.

TikTok has been looking to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review Trump’s divestment order and the government’s national security review.