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Biden scraps Trump-era orders banning TikTok and WeChat but concerns remain

The Biden administration ordered the Commerce Department to review security concerns posed by such mobile applications.

Biden scraps Trump-era orders banning TikTok and WeChat but concerns remain-VPN
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Washington D.C., First Published Jun 10, 2021, 10:49 AM IST
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United States President Joe Biden's administration has withdrawn a series of Trump-era executive orders aimed at banning WeChat and TikTok download.

Instead, the Biden administration ordered the Commerce Department to review security concerns posed by such mobile applications.

The executive order directed the Secretary of Commerce to evaluate on continuing basis transactions involving connected software applications that may pose an undue risk of sabotage or subversion of the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, distribution, installation, operation, or maintenance of information and communications technology or services in the United States. 

The order directs the Commerce Department to make recommendations to protect US data accessible by companies controlled by foreign adversaries within 120 days.

State Department spokesman Ned Price later told the media that the administration is taking strong steps to protect Americans' sensitive data from collection and utilisation by foreign adversaries through connected software applications.

Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, had tried to block new users from downloading the apps and block Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from service in the United States. The courts blocked the orders, and they never took effect.

The Trump administration claimed that WeChat and TikTok posed national security concerns as sensitive personal data of American users could be collected by China's government. Both TikTok and WeChat have denied these claims.

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