President Biden on Wednesday revoked a Trump-era government order that sought to ban the favored apps TikTok and WeChat and changed it with one which requires a broader overview of plenty of foreign-controlled purposes that would pose a safety danger to Individuals and their knowledge.
On a name with reporters on Wednesday, administration officers mentioned that the Trump-era order had not been carried out “within the soundest vogue” and that the brand new directive would set up “clear intelligible standards” to guage nationwide safety dangers posed by software program purposes linked to overseas governments, significantly China.
The order will handle plenty of purposes and bolster latest actions the Biden administration has taken to curb the rising affect of Chinese language know-how firms. And it’s the first vital step Mr. Biden has taken to handle a problem left for him by President Donald J. Trump, whose administration fought to ban TikTok and pressure its Chinese language-owned mum or dad firm, ByteDance, to promote the app. Authorized challenges instantly adopted and the app continues to be accessible because the battle languishes within the courts.
On Wednesday, administration officers mentioned a overview of TikTok by the Committee on Overseas Funding in america, the physique that opinions the nationwide safety implications of overseas investments in U.S. firms, was nonetheless persevering with and separate from the order.
Mr. Biden’s order “will direct the secretary of commerce to make use of a criteria-based resolution framework and rigorous, evidence-based evaluation to guage and handle the dangers” posed by foreign-operated purposes, in keeping with a memo circulated by the Commerce Division and obtained by The New York Occasions. “As warranted, the secretary will decide applicable actions primarily based on a radical overview of the dangers posed by overseas adversary linked software program purposes.”
TikTok declined to touch upon Wednesday morning.
Mr. Biden’s order was meant to broaden one issued in 2019 by the Trump administration, which banned American telecommunications firms from installing foreign-made equipment that could pose a threat to national security. That order did not name specific companies, nor did the one Mr. Biden issued on Wednesday. The new directive also does not mention specific retaliatory measures that could be taken if an application is found to be a threat to national security.
On Wednesday, administration officials would not go into specifics about the future of TikTok’s availability to American users or say whether the United States government would seek to compel ByteDance to transfer American user data to a company based in the United States. Amid a number of successful legal challenges waged by ByteDance, a deal to transfer the data to Oracle fell through this year shortly after Mr. Biden took office.