It’s official: Biden has reversed Trump’s executive order banning TikTok in the United States, ending a period of uncertainty over the immediate fate of the popular social media app. But TikTok’s problems with the US government are far away. decide.
Wednesday morning, Biden issued an executive order which reversed Trump’s previous executive order banning TikTok over national security concerns. (Trump’s order never went into effect because The US courts annulled it.) Biden’s executive order also called for a broader US government review of all apps with ties to “a foreign adversary,” such as China. This means that TikTok and other companies affiliated with China could face further restrictions in the future if they are determined to be a risk to the US economy or national security.
Biden’s approach to TikTok is notably different from Trump’s, which was to try to ban the app first and deal with the details later. But it remains in line with Trump’s general policy of using sanctions to restrict the growing power of Chinese tech companies in the US economy. So while TikTok has been spared the looming threat of being kicked out of the US internet in the short term, its business, along with other popular Chinese consumer apps like WeChat, is still under long-term scrutiny.
“This order shows that, on a bipartisan basis, everyone from Trump to Biden agrees that this aspect of our infrastructure is in danger of foreign influence, and that we must use our sanction powers when appropriate to do something about it. respect, “Bobby Chesney, a University of Texas professor who specializes in national security law, told Recode.
A TikTok spokesperson declined to comment.
In practical terms, Biden’s order means that TikTok can continue to operate in the US without the immediate threat of being shut down overnight, as Trump tried to do.
However, more generally, Biden has asked the US Department of Commerce to review any applications developed or owned by individuals or companies “subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary, including the People’s Republic of China,” and what assess potential threats to the national security and personal data of US residents “The Federal Government must assess these threats through rigorous, evidence-based analysis,” the executive order says; the Commerce Department has 120 days to submit its first report on the matter.
The order also calls for the director of national intelligence and the secretary of Homeland Security to assess the “threat” and “vulnerability” posed by Chinese tech companies.
Various US politicians Other than Trump has worried that TikTok poses a national security threat to the US because it can share user data with the Chinese government. TikTok denies it. So far, there has been no public evidence to support such claims about data sharing. The executive order effectively calls for more investigation into the matter.
Although Biden is taking a more measured approach to TikTok than Trump, he made clear that he intends to crack down on the Chinese tech sector in the US, which may prove challenging for TikTok.
Just last week, Biden expanded a Trump administration blacklist of Chinese companies in which US individuals or companies are prohibited from investing. And in addition to the now-reversed Trump-era ban, the US government is still seeking a separate review of TikTok by a powerful government agency that reviews foreign acquisitions of US companies, called the Committee on Foreign Investment. in the USA (CFIUS).
CFIUS has asked TikTok to get rid of its Chinese owner ByteDance. This would mean that the company could still be forced to sell or outsource a portion of its business, specifically how it stores user data, to a US-based company.
Meanwhile, TikTok is more popular than ever in the US, with more than 100 million monthly active users. For now, those users can continue to enjoy TikTok without worrying about the app closing. But that doesn’t mean that Chinese-affiliated social media companies can avoid more problems with the US government in the future.