The White House said on Wednesday Joe Biden has reversed Donald Trump’s TikTok and WeChat bans in an executive order and ordered a new commerce department review of security concerns to evaluate the risk of these Chinese-owned apps.
The Trump administration’s executive orders had sought to block new downloads and ban other technical transactions of TikTok, WeChat, and other Chinese apps, for national security reasons.
The new executive order by the Biden administration revoked orders for WeChat and TikTok, along with another order targeting eight other communications and fintech software apps in January.
A White House official said TikTok is under a separate US national security review.
A memo describing the order that was circulated by the Commerce Department and obtained by CNN says that apps that are made by those subject to Chinese law are covered under the order.
“The Biden Administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet, protecting human rights online and offline, and supporting a vibrant, global digital economy,” the memo reads.
“Certain countries, including the PRC, that do not share these democratic values seek to leverage digital technologies and Americans’ data in ways that present unacceptable national security risks while advancing authoritarian controls and interests. Through this E.O. the United States is taking strong steps to protect Americans’ sensitive data from collection and utilization by foreign adversaries through connected software applications.”