TikTok’s troubles lessened with Trump’s electoral defeat. Although the company is still under scrutiny with the new executive order from the Biden administration, analysts say the dramatic ups and downs for the company will diminish significantly.
James Lewis, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Biden administration had not shown a loosening of the government’s strong stance against China. But the new order sets much more precise criteria for weighing the risks posed by TikTok and other companies owned by foreign adversaries like China.
“They are taking the same direction as the Trump administration, but somehow tougher, in a more orderly way and implemented in a good way,” Lewis said. He added that Biden’s order was stronger than the Trump-era directive because “it is consistent, not random.”
Under the new system outlined in Mr. Biden’s order, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo would be empowered to “use a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis” to examine software applications designed, manufactured, or developed. by a “foreign adversary,” including China, according to a memo distributed by Commerce Department officials and obtained by The New York Times.
“The Biden administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet,” the memo read. “Certain countries,” including China, “do not share these democratic values.”
On Wednesday, administration officials did not elaborate on the future availability of TikTok to US users or say whether the US government would seek to force ByteDance, which owns the app, to transfer data from TikTok. US users to a company based in the United States. Amid a series of successful legal challenges undertaken by ByteDance, a deal to transfer the data to Oracle fell through this year shortly after Biden took office.
Administration officials pointed to a review of TikTok by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the body that considers the national security implications of foreign investments in American companies, which is still ongoing and separate from the order.