President Biden revokes Trump orders aimed at TikTok and WeChat

A new order will require security reviews of these apps.

Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

President Biden has just undone some of former President Trump's efforts to take down TikTok and WeChat. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Biden has revoked executive Trump orders that would have banned TikTok and WeChat downloads, among other restrictions. Those had already been blocked through injunctions, but they're now off the table with the sitting President's moves.

This doesn't mean either app will avoid scrutiny, however. Biden has signed a new order requiring security reviews of TikTok, WeChat, and other apps developed or supplied by people living under the jurisdiction of a "foreign adversary," including China. The move sets out guidelines for "evidence-based" analysis of apps to determine if their data management practices represent too much of a risk.

TikTok also faces a separate government panel review handling international transactions.

Trump issued the first two orders in August 2020. The crackdown against TikTok in particular was ostensibly due to ongoing worries that it might hand user data to the Chinese government, but critics also noted that it came roughly a month after TikTok users allegedly wrecked Trump's Tulsa rally by making it look like there would be many more attendees than actually came. There were concerns Trump was using the orders as retaliation for being humiliated, even though TikTok itself wasn't responsible.

As it stands, many of Trump's efforts have fallen apart in the months since he lost the 2020 election. On top of injunctions, Trump's attempt to force a sale of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart was put on indefinite hold in February following months of delays. Biden's revocations and new order effectively erase what was left of Trump's TikTok campaign.

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