US President Joe Biden signed a decree that lifts TikTok and WeChat apps’ blocking in the United States. The work of Chinese services was suspended in August last year by a decree of Donald Trump, who said that the PRC authorities have access to the personal data of American users. Joe Biden directed the Department of Commerce to investigate these and other foreign applications to see if they collect data from Americans and if they pose a threat to national security.
The new decree allows the Department of Commerce to take appropriate action if foreign services and applications threaten national security. This department will be determined according to the following criteria:
- owned or controlled by individuals who are affiliated with governments or the military forces of foreign adversaries;
- collects confidential data of users from the United States;
- conducts malicious activity.
Biden also ordered the Department of Commerce and other federal agencies to develop joint guidelines to protect against collecting and transferring sensitive data to foreign agents. However, the presidential decree does not apply to actions or investigations by the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States (CFIUS). Under the Trump administration, the committee set a deadline for ByteDance, which owns TikTok, to sell part of its business to Oracle, but the deal never materialized.
Otherwise, when it comes to China, Biden is following Trump’s path. Last week, the US President signed a decree extending the ban on investment in Chinese companies that are believed to be linked to the Chinese military. The list includes 59 companies.