WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden is reversing the Trump administration’s effort to ban TikTok and WeChat in the U.S. Instead, the White House plans to conduct its own review of the national security risks that apps associated with foreign countries like China may pose.
The Biden administration says the president signed an executive order Wednesday that revoked and replaced three orders signed by former President Donald Trump that aimed to prohibit transactions with TikTok, WeChat, and eight other apps.
In place of those orders, officials say the new order will direct the use of a criteria-based decision framework and evidence-based analysis to address the risks posed by information and communications technology and services (ICTS) transactions involving software apps that are produced by people associated with a foreign adversary, including China.
The review will look to see if the apps present an “undue or unacceptable risk to the national security” of the American people.
Officials say the new order will also provide criteria for identifying and evaluating transactions involving foreign adversary-connected software apps that may pose an unacceptable risk.
“For example, ICTS transactions involving software applications may present a heightened risk when the transactions involve applications that are owned, controlled, or managed by persons that support foreign adversary military or intelligence activities, or are involved in malicious cyber activities, or involve applications that collect sensitive personal data,” wrote the administration in a handout over the order.
The new order will also direct the Department of Commerce to 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 people connected to foreign adversaries.
Additionally, officials say the Department of Commerce will make recommendations for more executive and legislative actions to further address the risk associated with foreign adversary-connected software applications.