Yesterday, US President Joe Biden revoked the orders of his predecessor Donald Trump, who demanded to ban TikTok, WeChat and a number of other Chinese applications in the country. Instead, he ordered to carefully study all applications from “foreign opponents” and assess their danger.

We are talking about the following orders:

  • Decree No. 13942 of August 6, 2020, prohibiting American companies from making any ByteDance transfers (owner of TikTok);
  • Decree No. 13943 of August 6, 2020, prohibiting American companies from making any transfers to Tencent‘s WeChat units;
  • Decree No. 13971 of January 5, 2021, prescribing the prohibition of eight Chinese applications in the United States: Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay and WPS Office. He also banned Americans from making deals with companies that own these services.

It should be noted that there was also talk earlier about a complete ban on TikTok and WeChat — both applications had to be removed from American mobile stores. According to Trump, they could transfer personal information of US residents to the Chinese authorities and facilitate espionage. But such a decision was repeatedly challenged in court, and, for example, TikTok has continued to work and enjoy great popularity in the states all this time.

According to The Verge, citing a senior White House official, the administration still believes that applications from China can threaten the United States. They say that the American authorities adhere to the principle of an open and secure Internet, which cannot be said about countries like China.

Now the Ministry of Commerce will check applications with “increased risk”. The official will be looking at who controls these applications and whether the companies have links with the military and intelligence services, whether Americans’ personal data is being collected, and whether the applications are involved in malicious cyber activity.

The authorities are going to apply “appropriate measures” to suspicious applications that threaten the national security of the United States.

Whether or not the cancellation of Trump’s decrees means that TikTok and WeChat have already been verified, the White House statement does not specify.