President Joe Biden revoked an executive order that sought to ban downloads of Chinese-owned apps like TikTok and WeChat in the United States, the White House announced Wednesday.
Instead, Biden directed the Commerce Department to evaluate software applications connected with foreign adversaries like China, and “take action, as appropriate,” according to the fact sheet the administration released. The previous slate of executive orders were signed by former President Donald Trump, one of which sought to ban TikTok completely in the U.S.
President Donald Trump said Saturday that he approved a transaction between Oracle and TikTok that allows the Chinese application to stay in the United States.
Part of the arrangement requires the newly U.S.-based TikTok company to direct $5 billion toward teaching American children “the real history of our country,” Trump told reporters at the White House, Bloomberg reported Saturday. The president later told rally attendees in North Carolina Saturday that he is establishing a “large fund for the education of American youth.”
A judge blocked the Department of Commerce’s ban on Chinese social messaging app WeChat over First Amendment concerns early Sunday morning before it could go into effect.
Judge Laurel Beeler of San Francisco issued the decision more than a month after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning both WeChat and social media app TikTok over national security concerns, The Associated Press reported. The executive order signed on Aug. 6 was set to go into effect Sunday.
The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it will ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sunday and will saddle the apps with technical restrictions that could seriously limit their functionality in the U.S.
The order, which cited national security and data privacy concerns, follows weeks of dealmaking over the video-sharing service TikTok. President Donald Trump has pressured the app’s Chinese owner to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to a domestic company. It is not clear how the latest prohibitions will affect a deal recently struck by California tech giant Oracle aimed at satisfying U.S. concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.
Two days after President Trump told reporters that he plans to ban TikTok from the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested in an interview with Fox News that executive action may soon be taken against many other apps owned by Chinese firms.
Trump remarked to journalists aboard Air Force One on Friday that he could ban TikTok “with an executive order,” suggesting that the president has made up his mind about the popular short video platform. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance, has been at the center of a months-long debate over whether the data that it collects from American users could be exploited by China’s government.