Last summer, then-President of the United States Donald Trump signed an executive order banning most forms of transactions with US investors for applications like TikTok and WeChat. The US administration reversed that order today, as per The New York Times.
According to the order, these apps constituted a threat to users by potentially sharing personal information with the Chinese Communist Party. The executive order, if carried out, would have resulted in the removal of these apps from app stores. In fact, the Department of Commerce announced that the apps would be banned soon, citing similar security concerns. WeChat was supposed to be banned on September 20th, while TikTok had until November 12th to address its security issues.
In response, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, attempted to sell off the company's US operations. It sought to resolve security concerns by selling its operations to an American company and giving over control of customer data. Many companies appeared to be interested in purchasing the application, with Oracle emerging as the frontrunner. However, nothing ever came to fruition. Despite the fact that the deadline had passed, the Department subsequently decided not to pursue the ban.
The executive order that would have banned TikTok from being used has already been lifted. A new guideline, however, seeks broader scrutiny of apps operated by foreign states. The memo, according to administration officials, will attempt to set "clear intelligible criteria" for identifying national security risks. For the time being, TikTok appears to be in the clear, which is fantastic news for its users and ByteDance.
However, there is a chance that there will be problems in the future. Separate from the order, there is still an ongoing investigation into TikTok at the Committee on Foreign Investment. The administration also refused to comment on TikTok and other apps' future availability.