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US President Joe Biden Stays Order on TikTok and WeChat ban

US President Joe Biden has yet paused any legal action against the apps TikTok and WeChat, which otherwise could have seen a ban in the US.

The Biden administration asked a US court to suspend litigation connected to former President Donald Trump’s proposed order to ban the apps while it reviews the policy.

Donald Trump had issued an order to ban both apps, claiming they were a national security threat. Both companies had taken legal action against the government’s proposed bans.

The Justice Department of the new US Government has filed a request with the US Court of Appeals seeking a suspension of the case. The department has asked the federal court for a pause on proceedings.

The new administration wants suspension of proceedings while it revisits every aspect to check whether the apps really pose a threat or not.

The filing said, “Newly-installed administration officials have started reviewing the prior administration’s actions on WeChat and TikTok, including the evaluation of the underlying record justifying those prohibitions.”

The legal documents state, “The delay means that both the apps will still continue to operate in the US while new government staff becomes familiar with the issues in this case.”

The filing added. “After the apps still continue to operate the government will be in a better position to determine whether the regulatory purpose of protecting the security of Americans and their data, continue to identify prohibitions.”

Donald Trump had issued an executive order in August 2020 declaring both WeChat and TikTok as big threats to national security because of data collection practices.

Trump had claimed that the apps developed and owned by Chinese firms functioning in the US threatened the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

The messaging app WeChat has more than one billion users globally, but says the US only accounts for 2 percent of its revenue. The video-sharing app TikTok has about 800 million users globally, of which 100 million are in the US.

TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, has been in talks with Oracle and Walmart to finalize a deal that would see the app’s US assets shifted into a new entity, to avoid a ban in the country.

Reports even suggest that the deal could be canceled if the Biden administration adopts a softer approach towards Chinese apps.

The Administration Department of the new US government said, “We remain committed to taking care of the national security as well as ensuring the viability of our economy and preserving individual rights and data.”


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