Biden revokes Trump-era ban on popular mobile apps
President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a Trump-era executive order that sought to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and replaced it with one that calls for a broader review of a number of foreign-controlled applications that could pose a security risk to Americans and their data.
On a call with reporters on Wednesday, administration officials said that the Trump-era order had not been carried out “in the soundest fashion” and that the new directive would establish “clear intelligible criteria” to evaluate national security risks posed by software applications connected to foreign governments, particularly China.
The order will address a number of applications and bolster recent actions the Biden administration has taken to curb the growing influence of Chinese technology companies. And it is the first significant step Biden has taken to address a challenge left for him by President Donald J. Trump, whose administration fought to ban TikTok and force its Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app. Legal challenges followed and the app is still available as the battle languishes in the courts.
On Wednesday, US officials said a review of TikTok by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, the body that reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in US companies, was still continuing and separate from the order.