US President Trump has signed a decree banning some transactions with eight Chinese apps in the United States. The ban would be necessary to protect national security.
The executive order that Trump signed specifies that the US Commerce Department must determine which transactions are no longer allowed within 45 days. This concerns transactions that users can make with the Chinese apps Alipay, QQ Wallet and QQ from Tencent, WeChat Pay, VMate from Alibaba’s UCWeb, CamScanner, Shareit and WPS Office from Beijing Kingsoft Office Software.
The decree states that “aggressive action” against the apps is necessary to protect US national security. “By accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers, Chinese applications can access and capture large amounts of user information, including sensitive information and private data,” the warrant reads.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has 45 days to determine which transactions are no longer allowed, but a spokesperson told Reuters that this will happen before January 20. On that date, Joe Biden’s inauguration as US president is due to take place. It is not clear what Biden’s position is with regard to banning Chinese apps and companies in the US. Trump took action against Huawei, TikTok, WeChat, DJI and chipmaker SMIC, among others, under the guise of protecting national security.