by Andrew Trunsky
President Joe Biden revoked an executive order that sought to ban downloads of Chinese-owned apps like TikTok and WeChat in the United States, the White House announced Wednesday.
Instead, Biden directed the Commerce Department to evaluate software applications connected with foreign adversaries like China, and “take action, as appropriate,” according to the fact sheet the administration released. The previous slate of executive orders were signed by former President Donald Trump, one of which sought to ban TikTok completely in the U.S.
“The Federal Government should evaluate these threats through rigorous, evidence-based analysis and should address any unacceptable or undue risks consistent with overall national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives, including the preservation and demonstration of America’s core values and fundamental freedoms,” the executive order says. “As warranted, the secretary will determine appropriate actions based on a thorough review of the risks posed by foreign adversary connected software applications.”
After Trump moved to ban TikTok in 2020, its parent company, ByteDance, reached a tentative deal with Oracle and Walmart that would make it at least partially American-owned, but that deal appears to be dead. The Biden administration moved in February to place the company’s lawsuit against the U.S. government on hold.
Federal judges previously ruled against Trump’s attempted TikTok and WeChat bans. One found that the administration overstepped its authority in ordering TikTok to shut down, while another ruled against the administration in its WeChat case on First Amendment grounds.
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Andrew Trunsky is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.