A new executive order directs the Commerce Department to undertake what officials describe as an “evidence-based” analysis of transactions involving apps that are manufactured or supplied or controlled by China. Officials are particularly concerned about apps that collect users’ personal data or have connections to Chinese military or intelligence activities.
President Donald Trump has issued an executive order essentially banning a host of Chinese-connected software applications, including Alipay and Wechat, saying the ban targeted apps that “access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information,” by accessing smartphones, computers and tablets.
An injunction that blocks the government from enforcing a ban on WeChat downloads “improperly hampers” efforts to combat foreign spying, the U.S. Department of Justice argues in new papers filed late last week with a federal appellate court.
Trump said the proposed deal between Oracle and Walmart will result in a new company likely to be based in Texas. “I have given the deal my blessing,” he said. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too.”
The Commerce Department said President Trump’s proposed ban of the apps WeChat and TikTok will go into effect Sunday, Sept. 20, to “safeguard the national security of the United States.” The order follows weeks of dealmaking over the video-sharing service TikTok. President Donald Trump has pressured the app’s Chinese owner to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to a domestic company to satisfy U.S. concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.
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The U.S. Commerce Department plans to issue an order today that will bar people in the United States from downloading Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok starting on this Sunday, Sept. 20, according to three officials.
The twin executive orders issued Thursday — one for each app — add to growing U.S.-Chinese conflict over technology and security. They take effect in 45 days and could bar the popular apps from the Apple and Google app stores, effectively removing them from U.S. distribution. China’s foreign ministry expressed opposition but gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate.