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Biden revokes Trump order banning TikTok

President Biden on Wednesday recalled an announcement from the Trump era seeking to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and replaced it with one calling for a broader review of a number of foreign-controlled applications that could pose a security risk to Americans and their data. .

During a call with journalists on Wednesday, administration officials said the Trump-era order had not been implemented “in the healthiest way” and that the new directive would set “clear understandable criteria” for evaluating national security risks associated with software applications linked to foreign governments. , especially China.

The order will address a range of applications and strengthen recent actions taken by the Biden administration to curb the growing influence of Chinese technology companies. And that’s the first important step that Mr. Biden has taken to tackling a challenge he has left behind President Donald J. Trump, whose administration fought to ban TikTok and force its Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app. Legal challenges immediately followed and the app is still available as the fight disappears in the courts.

On Wednesday, administration officials said a review of TikTok conducted by the U.S. Department of Foreign Investment, the body that reviews the national security implications of foreign investment in U.S. companies, continued and was separated from the order.

Sir. Biden’s order “will require the Secretary of Commerce to apply a criteria-based decision-making framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to evaluate and manage the risks” posed by foreign applications, according to a memo circulated by the Department of Commerce and obtained by The New York Times. “As warranted, the Secretary will decide on appropriate actions based on a thorough review of the risks associated with foreign adversary related software applications.”

TikTok declined to comment Wednesday morning.

Mr. The bid’s order was intended to extend one issued in 2019 by the Trump administration, which banned U.S. telecommunications companies from installing foreign-made equipment that could pose a threat to national security. This order did not mention specific companies, nor did the one mentioned by Mr. Biden issued Wednesday. The new directive also does not mention specific retaliatory measures that can be taken if an application proves to pose a threat to national security.

On Wednesday, administration officials would not elaborate on the future of TikTok’s availability to U.S. users or say whether the U.S. government would try to force ByteDance to transfer U.S. user data to a U.S.-based company. Amid a series of successful legal challenges led by ByteDance, an agreement to transfer data to Oracle fell through this year shortly after Mr. Biden joined.

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