The U.S. Department of Commerce said on Monday that it is revoking the list of prohibited transactions with TikTok and WeChat released in September due to the Trump administration’s attempts to prevent new downloads of these two Chinese-owned apps in the United States.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden withdrew a series of Trump-era executive orders aimed at banning new downloads of WeChat and TikTok owned by Tencent, and ordered the Ministry of Commerce to review these and other applications The security issues brought by.
The Department of Commerce under Trump also tried to prohibit other transactions that could effectively prohibit the use of WeChat in the United States, and later sought similar restrictions to prohibit the use of TikTok.
The department did not immediately comment.
The Biden order directs the Department of Commerce to monitor software applications such as TikTok that may affect U.S. national security, and make recommendations within 120 days to protect U.S. data acquired or accessed by companies controlled by foreign opponents.
WeChat has been downloaded at least 19 million times by American users and is widely used as a medium for services, games, and payments.
Biden’s executive order revoked Trump’s WeChat and TikTok orders issued in August, and another order issued in January for eight other communications and financial technology software applications.
Trump’s January order instructed officials to ban transactions with eight Chinese apps, including Ant Group’s Alipay, Tencent’s QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay. So far, no ban has been issued.
The Trump administration once appealed judicial orders to block TikTok and WeChat bans, but after Biden took office in January, the US Department of Justice requested a suspension of appeals.
The United States’ separate national security review of TikTok was launched at the end of 2019 and is still ongoing.
© Thomson Reuters 2021