US President Joe Biden has revoked several executive orders from former President Donald Trump that banned Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat in the United States.
President Trump signed several executive orders related to apps from China during his four years in office. One of the best-known orders in 2020 sought to ban short-form video app TikTok. The app is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance.
The Trump administration claimed that the apps posed a risk to national security. In the order, the Trump administration claimed there is “credible evidence” to suggest ByteDance “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
However, the bans never went into effect, thanks to several court orders that blocked the restrictions.
President Biden’s new executive order revokes the WeChat and TikTok orders that Trump issued in August 2020. Trump’s order sought to force ByteDance to divest TikTok to a US company. Another order signed in January 2020 targeted several other messaging and financial transaction apps, including WeChat Pay and Alipay.
The Biden administration says that going forward, it will take an “evidence-based approach” when reviewing the security concerns posed by apps. The administration will task the U.S. Department of Commerce with reviewing apps developed by firms “in the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary.”
An administration official has said that the White House is “very concerned” about the data risks of TikTok users.