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Politics President Biden is throwing out Trump-era bans on TikTok and WeChat after the former administration fought hard to prohibit the Chinese apps over national security concerns

18:25  09 june  2021
18:25  09 june  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

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Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: TikTok users in the US have been reacting to the news of a potential ban of the popular app for months. Photo Illustration by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images © Photo Illustration by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images TikTok users in the US have been reacting to the news of a potential ban of the popular app for months. Photo Illustration by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • President Biden signed an executive order rescinding a ban on TikTok and WeChat, The Verge reported.
  • Trump signed a series of executive actions last year targeting the Chinese-owned apps.
  • Biden directed the commerce secretary to investigate apps with ties to foreign adversaries.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order revoking former President Donald Trump's attempts to ban TikTok and WeChat in the US.

President Biden revokes Trump executive orders targeting TikTok and WeChat

  President Biden revokes Trump executive orders targeting TikTok and WeChat President Joe Biden on Thursday revoked a series of executive orders signed during the Trump administration targeting TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese apps, and replaced them with a new executive order addressing apps linked to foreign adversaries, including China. © Shutterstock New York, United States, 6th January 2021: A woman holds a phone with the TIKTOK logo in her hand. It's one of the most popular social networks at the moment.

According to a press release shared with Insider, Biden's executive order calls for Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to investigate apps with connections to foreign adversaries. The Associated Press and The New York Times also confirmed the news.

Biden was expected to abandon Trump's plans to ban TikTok when he took office, and Wednesday's executive order confirms as much.

"The administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet and to protecting human rights online and offline, and to supporting a vibrant global digital economy," a White House official told The Verge, which first reported the news.

Trump in 2020 had targeted both apps and sought to ban them because of their ownership by Chinese companies. Crackdown on Chinese apps was a tenet of Trump's agenda, and his administration was concerned over Americans' user data being passed along to the Party. Judges previously halted the bans, though Biden's order rescinds them entirely.

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  Why WeChat, Given Reprieve By Biden Administration, is China's Most Controversial App "There are some other ways we can influence getting the right level of regulatory oversight over these applications than just attempting to ban them," Caleb Barlow, CEO of CynergisTek, told Newsweek.OnShore Security CEO Stel Valavanis told Newsweek that he believes Biden's approach is "more nuanced" than his predecessor because Biden is taking the time to build a case around these apps instead of a "heavy-handed" outright ban.

TikTok did not immediately return Insider's request for comment Wednesday.

Trump's attempt to ban TikTok has been a whirlwind affair. The video-sharing app soared in popularity in 2020 during the pandemic, and in June of last year, TikTok users said they signed up for thousands of tickets to a major Trump rally in Oklahoma, a rally they had no intention of attending. The teen users celebrated for having falsely inflated the expected turnout for the rally, preventing many from showing up.

Trump first signed an executive order for Bytedance, TikTok's China-based parent company, to find a US buyer in mid-2020. The idea, according to the administration, was that by having American investors involved in the company, US user data would be better protected.

Then-President Trump also prohibited US companies from doing business with both Bytedance and WeChat, a popular messaging app in China. TikTok responded by suing the Trump administration.

China says US revoking of Chinese apps ban a "positive step"

  China says US revoking of Chinese apps ban a BEIJING (AP) — China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that a U.S. move to revoke the Trump administration’s executive orders intended to ban apps like TikTok and WeChat was a “positive step,” amid strained relations between the two countries. “We hope that the US will treat Chinese companies fairly and avoid politicizing economic and trade issues,” ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said at a regular news briefing Thursday. Gao said the U.S.“We hope that the US will treat Chinese companies fairly and avoid politicizing economic and trade issues,” ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said at a regular news briefing Thursday.

Microsoft turned out to be an eager bidder for a majority stake in TikTok's US assets. But the tech giant's proposal fell apart and was replaced by one from Oracle, which is helmed by Larry Ellison, an outspoken Trump supporter. However, the deal was never finalized.

In September 2020, the US Commerce Department under Trump tried to ban new US downloads of TikTok, and the government threatens to ban the app's functionality in November. Judges threw the bans out, however.

The president is, however, expanding on one of Trump's executive orders that banned US investment in some Chinese companies, specifically ones whose surveillance technology is used by the Party's military. The new order specifically aims to crack down on human rights abuse and zeroes in on technology used against the Uyghur Muslim minority and Hong Kong protesters.

Read the original article on Business Insider

AP PHOTOS: Biden wraps up 1st overseas trip of presidency .
Joe Biden wrapped up the first overseas trip of his presidency Wednesday after rallying allies and facing off with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The eight-day, three-country swing included meetings with leaders of the Group of Seven wealthiest democracies in scenic Cornwall, England, and a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. In Brussels, Biden huddled with nearly a dozen NATO allies and met with the leadership of the European Union. The stop was meant to convey a united front among alliance members in standing up to Russian aggression and human rights violations. © Provided by Associated Press People watch Air Force One, carrying U.S.

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