Biden revokes and replaces Trump actions targeting TikTok and WeChat

  • Biden revokes and replaces Trump actions targeting TikTok and WeChat

Biden revokes and replaces Trump actions targeting TikTok and WeChat

US courts have successfully blocked the former administration's August 2020 order banning the apps, which cited national security concerns due to a 2017 Chinese law that orders Chinese companies to share data with the government upon request. Officials are particularly concerned about apps that collect users' personal data or have connections to Chinese military or intelligence activities. In the case of TikTok, Mr. Trump had sought to shut down the app in the US if the company wasn't put under control of USA owners.

In revoking some of President Donald Trump's blanket-style orders against Chinese tech companies and replacing them with a narrower approach, the Biden administration has not actually weighed in yet on whether TikTok and other apps pose a danger to Americans.

"The CFIUS action remains under active discussion by the United States government", a senior administration official told the Verge.

TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., declined to comment.

A second federal judge later fully blocked the Trump administration's attempt to ban TikTok in the USA, finding that Trump overstepped his authority in using emergency economic powers to put the popular app out of business. "What the Biden administration wants to do is maintain an open, secure internet that doesn't take a page from Beijing's playbook, while addressing legitimate risk".

TikTok, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times in the U.S., got caught up in Trump's crackdown on Chinese technology companies and their influence in the US. Companies on the list include China's state-owned telecommunications companies, telecom equipment maker Huawei and Chinese oil company China National Offshore Oil Corp. Tuesday the Senate approved a $250 billion bill boosting government spending on technology research and development amid rising competition from China and other nations.

A separate national security review into the sale of TikTok to an American company is ongoing and not connected to Wednesday's action, a senior administration official said.

"Certain countries, including the People's Republic of China (PRC), do not share these values and seek to leverage digital technologies and Americans' data in ways that present unacceptable national security risks while advancing authoritarian controls and interests".

To appease Trump, TikTok also explored potential sales to American firms, including Microsoft, Oracle and Walmart. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has put on hold a case challenging Trump's TikTok divestment order. Critics have also warned that users' content could be censored if the CCP deems it politically sensitive-even if that user lives outside of China.

The administration of former President Donald Trump had attempted to block new users from downloading the apps and ban other technical transactions that Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat both said would effectively block the apps' use in the United States.

ByteDance, TikTok's corporate owner, is still involved in those negotiations over a deal to ensure Americans' data is not in jeopardy of being accessed by Chinese authorities.

The virtual private network (VPN) company Surfshark labeled TikTok as the fourth-most "data-hungry social media app" behind Facebook, Facebook-owned Instagram and Linkedin.