Because of their ownership of two Chinese companies, former President Donald Trump and his administration last year attempted to ban the popular short-form video app TikTok and the social media, messaging, and mobile payment app WeChat from operating in the United States. Affected companies filed lawsuits blocking the administration’s plans.
Today, The Verge reports that President Joe Biden has signed his own executive order lifting the bans ordered by Trump. However, Biden is calling for the Secretary of Commerce to investigate apps owned by companies overseas that could be seen as a national security and privacy risk to the U.S. ban on American companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Twitter, and Walmart.
TikTok has grown to be one of the most installed apps in the US as its short format video format is popular with teens and teenagers who use it to create lip sync, prank videos, and more. WeChat is a versatile app that takes on various tasks. Developed by Tencent, a whopping 78% of people aged 16 to 64 in China use the app. In the US, the app has 1.48 million monthly users.
President Biden cancels ex-President Trump’s executive orders against TikTok and WeChat
Actions taken by the president today do not end the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) investigation of TikTok’s China-based owner, ByteDance. Meanwhile, the Biden administration said that the original executive order signed by Trump was not being carried out “in the most sensible way” and that the new rules investigate the privacy and security risks of apps in certain countries (such as China) by Specifying certain criteria must then be followed by apps from the countries that are available in the states. This prevents the US from trying to ban apps from certain regions for no legitimate reason.