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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Biden Seeks Review of Foreign-Owned Apps Beyond TikTok, WeChat. Here’s What You Need to Know.

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President Biden revoked a Trump-era attempt to ban Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat , instead implementing an executive order to broadly review whether apps controlled by foreign adversaries pose a security threat to the U.S.

The June 9 order means that the future of the popular apps remains unsettled as they undergo a review by the Commerce Department. Other foreign-owned apps are expected to face similar scrutiny.

It represents a twist in the saga around the ownership of TikTok, which allows users to watch and share bite-size video clips. During the Trump administration, U.S. officials expressed concerns that data collected by TikTok could be shared with China’s authoritarian government and tried to force the sale of the company to a U.S. buyer. TikTok has said that it never would share data on U.S. users with China’s government.

Here is a look at key developments.

What does President Biden’s executive order do?

The order launches a review of a broader universe of foreign-owned apps over potential security concerns. It is designed to replace the Trump administration’s approach that targeted individual companies, which senior Biden administration officials said were effectively unenforceable.

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