President Biden repeals and replaces Trump’s TikTok executive order
President Joe Biden has just revoked the previous administration’s executive order banning China-linked apps from the US.
However, apps like TikTok and WeChat aren’t out of the woods yet. President Biden replaced the Trump executive order with a new one instructing the commerce secretary to look into apps with alleged ties to adversaries, such as China, and determine if they pose a risk to Americans’ data or national security.
The Biden executive order will also direct the Commerce Department and several other agencies to develop ways to prevent the collection, sale, and transfer of sensitive US consumer data to foreign adversaries. The Commerce Department will then recommend new executive orders or legislation to prevent foreign adversaries from getting ahold of US consumers’ data.
According to The Verge, Biden’s executive order replaces a series of memorandums Trump released in the past year targeting China-based apps. Since signing those orders, US courts have mostly delayed the execution of their most impactful sections.
The president’s executive order leaves one glaring area untouched: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ (CFIUS’) investigations into and demands for these apps.
To date, the CFIUS has demanded China-owned TikTok owner Bytedance divest from the social media apps US operations. It has set multiple deadlines for this divestment, which led to Oracle agreeing to purchase TiTok’s US operation, but the sale never went through.
A senior administration official told The Verge, “The CFIUS action remains under active discussion by the US government.”
This is the second time in the past month Biden has repealed a Trump-era executive order. In May, he rescinded Trump’s executive order targeting Section 230, which protects social media companies by distinguishing them as ‘platforms’ over ‘publishers’ of media, thereby protecting them from prosecution for libel or distributing misinformation.
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