US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday lifting the restrictions imposed by the previous US administration on the social networks TikTok and WeChat. The corresponding document was distributed by the press service of the White House.
“The following decrees are withdrawn: Executive Order of 6 August 2020“ On Countering the Threat from TikTok and Taking Additional Measures ”, Executive Order of 6 August 2020“ On Countering the Threat from WeChat ”, Executive Order of 5 January 2021“ On countering threats from applications and other software developed or controlled by Chinese companies, ”the text says.
At the same time, the United States intends to track such applications, which are “developed or supplied by persons who are owned or controlled by foreign adversaries, including China.” “The increasing use in the United States of applications developed or provided by individuals controlled or under the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary, including China, continues to threaten US national security, foreign policy and economy,” the decree says. – <...> Foreign adversaries’ access to large repositories of citizen data poses a significant risk. “
Biden instructed the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the head of the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, to provide a report with recommendations on personal data protection within 120 days.
Trump’s executive orders and the US TikTok situation
On August 6 last year, then-US President Donald Trump signed two executive orders prohibiting any transactions with the owner of the TikTok app, ByteDance and its subsidiaries, as well as transactions involving the social network WeChat, with its owner, the Chinese Internet giant Tencent and his “daughters”. The previous US administration’s concerns about TikTok stemmed from allegations that the company’s management was engaged in propaganda and transferring user data to the Chinese authorities.
On January 5, 2021, Trump also signed a decree banning transactions with those who control and develop the Alipay payment system application of the financial technology company Ant Group and seven other similar programs in China.
In addition, on August 14, 2020, Trump issued a decree directing ByteDance to divest all TikTok-related assets in the United States, and later said that he had given “prior consent” to the acquisition of the US segment of TikTok by Oracle and Walmart.
However, as the Wall Street Journal later reported, the deal was eventually postponed indefinitely. According to the publication, this is due to the fact that the new US President Biden has decided to reconsider the steps of his predecessor aimed at combating possible risks posed by Chinese technology companies.
Russian news agency TASS