Chinese App Ban: In a fresh round of ban, the US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order banning Alipay, WeChat Pay and other apps linked to Chinese companies, saying they could route user information to the government in Beijing. The executive order will take effect in 45 days, just weeks after Trump is replaced in the White House by President-elect Joe Biden, as per news agency AFP. Also Read: ‘Congress Failed To Recognise End Of Its Charismatic Leadership,’ Pranab Mukherjee In Last Book
The implementation of the order is yet to be discussed with the “potential incoming Biden administration. The recent ban comes amid Trump administration orders banning TikTok, which is owned by China-based ByteDance, was derailed by court rulings indicating Trump overstepped his legal authority.
Why other apps are banned?
The current apps are chosen to be banned because of the extremely high number of downloads, which meant tens of millions of users could be at risk of having their data harnessed. The US is trying to convey to the world and take steps to stop the encroachment of China’s big data strategy — photos, text messages, phone calls to parents — from being fed into this mass tool for global oppression. However, it didn’t identify specific instances of data theft using the applications. Instead, the size of the payment platforms is seen as problem because of their scope making them likely targets for Chinese data collection efforts.
Trump’s order calls for the secretary of commerce to review and assess what further apps should be included in the ban. It specifically named Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay and WPS Office.
What is expected after Joe Biden takes office?
The fresh ban is also likely to face legal challenges similar to those against the prior efforts to force the sale of TikTok from China’s ByteDance Ltd and ban WeChat messaging app. If Biden wants he could also pause or erase the policy upon taking office. The immediate impact is likely to be limited. Apps such as WeChat and Alipay have their biggest customer base in greater China and the number of users in the US is relatively small.