US President Joe Biden has issued an executive order this week (June 9) revoking Donald Trump’s ban on TikTok.
Launched by ByteDance in 2017, the popular platform sees users sharing short-form videos. It had over 80 million users in the US at the time of Trump’s ban.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One last August, Trump told them: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” amid “concerns” about “national security.”
Now, Bidden has signed an executive order and has said his administration will conduct its own “rigorous, evidence-based” review of foreign apps.
He continued: “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.”
Biden did acknowledged that apps can “access and capture vast swathes of information from users” and that “this data collection threatens to provide foreign adversaries with access to that information.”
WeChat was also included in Trump’s executive order ban last year; that ban has now also been lifted.
A proposal produced under Trump’s tenure would have seen both Oracle and Walmart owning the US part of TikTok.
However, TikTok launched a lawsuit against the US government last August, alleging that Trump’s comments about the app violated their right to due process. They also said the president offered no reasoning for his claims that the app presents a national security threat due to its ties with China.
That, together with Trump leaving office soon after meant neither the TikTok ban, nor the involvement of the US businesses came to fruition.