Joe Biden, President of the United States, has rejected Trump-era order trying to ban the popular TikTok and WeChat apps. He will conduct his own review aimed at identifying national security risks associated with software apps identified with China.
The new enforcement order prompted the Commerce Department on Wednesday. This order is to conduct an “evidence-based” analysis of transactions involving claims made, transmitted or controlled by China.
Officials say they are particularly concerned about apps that collect personally identifiable information from users. Or they have ties to China’s military or intelligence activities.
Biden Executive Order for TikTok
The department will also make recommendations to better protect Americans’ genetic information and personal health. It address the risks of certain software applications linked to China or other adversaries, a senior administration official said.
Biden’s move reflects ongoing concerns that personal information of Americans could be leaked via popular apps. The Apps who linked to China, America’s main economic and political rival.
TikTok declined to comment. WeChat did not immediately respond.
Gao added that China had identified the United States in need of a new app security review and hoped that “the United States will treat Chinese companies fairly and avoid politicizing economic and trade issues.”
The White House and Congress have taken steps to counter Beijing’s technological advances.
The Senate has passed a bill on Tuesday designed to restore manufacturing of semiconductor in United States and artificial intelligence development and others technologies in the fast international competition.
Earlier this year, the administration backed former President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban the popular video app TikTok by asking the court to postpone the lawsuit after the government launched a broader review of the national security threat from the Chinese tech company.
Biden’s order said the collection of data from America “threatens to give foreign adversaries access to this information.”
Biden Orders to Commerce Department
The order directs the Commerce Department to “continuously” evaluate all transactions that “pose an unnecessary risk of catastrophic impact on the security or resilience of critical infrastructure or the United States digital economy”.
Biden’s Executive Order requires US domestic intelligence and security agencies to report vulnerabilities and threats to US data controlled by foreign adversaries to the Commerce Department within 60 days of their review.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley said on Twitter that the withdrawal of Trump’s order “was a grave mistake.
It shows worrying complacency about China’s access to American private information as well as the growing influence of Chinese companies.”
Last week, Biden signed an executive order banning US investments in certain Chinese defense and surveillance technology companies. The order replaces a similar Trump-era order that does not stand up to legal scrutiny.