Joe Biden drops Trump attempt to ban TikTok, WeChat; orders new review

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden on Wednesday withdrew a series of Trump-era executive orders that sought to ban new downloads of WeChat and TikTok, and ordered a Commerce Department review of security concerns posed by those apps and others.

IN its statement, the White House said: "President Biden revoked and replaced three executive orders that aimed to prohibit transactions with TikTok, WeChat, and eight other communications and financial technology software applications; two of these orders are subject to litigation." The new order signed by Biden on Wednesday directed the US Commerce Department to instead evaluate software applications connected with "foreign adversaries" under recent US supply-chain security rules "and take action, as appropriate", according to the White House.

The order also also instructs the Department to draft a report with recommendations on how to safeguard Americans' personal data, including their genetic data, as well as a second report containing additional policy proposals. Citing national security concerns, Trump had sought to block new users from downloading TikTok and WeChat in the US, but his orders were blocked in federal district courts and never took effect.

 

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