Biden Administration to Review Trump Ban on TikTok, WeChat, Other Apps
June 10, 2021
Former president Donald Trump’s executive order that attempted to ban
Chinese video app TikTok has been replaced by the Biden administration,
which has implemented its own executive orders to review several Chinese
apps for possible national security and privacy risks.
President Joe Biden’s executive order directs the Commerce Department to
analyze TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese apps to see if they collect
personal data or if they are connected to the Chinese military.
According to a White House statement about the order, Commerce, in
consultation with other federal agencies, can “make recommendations to
protect against harm from the sale, transfer of, or access to sensitive
personal data, including personally identifiable information and genetic
information — to include large data repositories — to persons owned or
controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of, foreign
“The administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable,
reliable, and secure internet and to protecting human rights online and
offline, and to supporting a vibrant global digital economy,” a senior
administration official said Wednesday, according to The Verge, which
first reported the story.
challenge that we’re addressing with this [executive order] is that
certain countries, including China, do not share these commitments or
values and are instead working to leverage digital technologies and
American data in ways that present unacceptable national security
risks,” the official added.
Trump’s efforts to ban TikTok in the summer of 2020 were blocked by the
courts, and the issue was soon overshadowed by the 2020 presidential
Discussions that a U.S. company might take over TikTok operations in the
U.S. never resulted in concrete action.
Last week, the Biden administration expanded a Trump-era ban on American
companies investing in Chinese firms with ties to the Chinese military.
The order lists 59 Chinese companies that reportedly develop
surveillance technology to be used against Muslim minorities and
pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.