US President Joe Biden has withdrawn the bans on the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat issued by his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden also overturned orders from Trump on Wednesday in a series of edicts against eight other communication and finance apps like Ant Group’s Alipay, Tencent Holdings’ QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay.
At the same time, Biden gave the US Department of Commerce 180 days to submit a report on any measures taken to address the risks of foreign apps. A security check by TikTok, which was ordered in 2019, will continue, said a US government official.
The Trump administration had justified its action against TikTok with security concerns about the data of the approximately 100 million users in the United States. It is to be feared that given TikTok’s proximity to the Chinese government, they could end up in the hands of the Communist Party.
Apple, Google and other US corporations were instructed not to allow such downloads for domestic users any more. However, the bans were stopped by US courts and never came into effect. Trump had also ordered the sale of the US business of TikTok, as buyers Oracle and Walmart were under discussion. The deal was initially suspended under Biden.