Commerce Department Rescinds List of Prohibited Transactions with Chinese-Owned TikTok, WeChat

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The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday that it is rescinding a Trump-era list of prohibited transactions involving the Chinese-owned social media platforms TikTok and WeChat, which sought to block new U.S. downloads of the apps affiliated with the communist regime.

President Joe Biden has withdrawn of a series of executive orders by former President Donald Trump, which sought to ban the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat, according to a report by Reuters.

Instead, the Biden administration has decided to conduct its own review of security concerns posed by the apps ties to China.

The order directs Biden’s U.S. Commerce Department to monitor apps like TikTok, and within 120 days, make recommendations regarding the protection of U.S. data acquired or accessible by companies controlled by foreign adversaries.

In August, amid a larger push to limit the Chinese Communist Party’s access to U.S. data, President Trump had ordered sweeping restrictions against TikTok and WeChat.

“The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” President said at the time.

Along with revoking the WeChat and TikTok orders Trump issued in August, Biden’s order also rescinds another order in January that targeted eight other Chinese software applications, which included Ant Group’s Alipay, and Tencent’s QQ Wallet and WeChat pay, reports Reuters.

Moreover, the Trump administration had also appealed judicial orders blocking the bans on TikTok and WeChat, but after Biden took office, the U.S. Justice Department reportedly asked to pause the appeals.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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