The TikTok ban is over. But that’s not quite the end of the story. The Biden administration issued an executive order to repeal the TikTok ban, which never went into effect. But the order does include an order to investigate apps that fall under the jurisdiction of “foreign adversaries.”
TikTok (and WeChat) have had a pretty tough year in 2020. President Trump at the time expressed his displeasure with the companies. That almost led to Microsoft and then Oracle buying TikTok, but those talks fell through. In September, President Trump issued an executive order banning TikTok, WeChat and several apps from app stores.
But the companies successfully challenged the executive orders in court and the bans never materialized. Now there is a new government and she is trying a new tactic. A new executive order signed by President Biden states it will “…continue to address the ongoing national emergency declared in EO 13873 of May 15, 2019.”
It goes on to lift the bans against TikTok, WeChat and the apps. But it then orders the Department of Commerce to “evaluate foreign adversary-connected software applications against the rules published to implement EO 13873 and take action where necessary.” The order proposes criteria for determining when software poses an increased risk to US citizens’ data.
Since the courts overturned the previous injunction, this new tactic seems to work a way to achieve a similar goal and survive any subsequent lawsuits. How that will go remains to be seen.
Source: White House