US President Joe Biden has withdrawn sanctions against Chinese apps. Among other things, his predecessor Donald Trump issued a Tik-Tok ban, but it did not even come into force for legal reasons.

Last year, former US President Donald Trump wanted to enforce a Tik-Tok ban. He cited security concerns and potential Chinese espionage operations as the reason.

Although Trump issued an order to that effect, it failed several times in court. In the end, a legal ban did not materialize. Subsequently, the Trump administration appears to have lost interest in the issue. But the order remained in place.

Tik-Tok ban: Biden rescinds Trump order

Now the issue has apparently been settled for the time being: current US President Joe Biden has withdrawn his predecessor’s order, which formed the basis for the failed Tik-Tok ban. This also affected other Chinese apps – including Wechat, Alipay, Camscanner, Tencent QQ, VMate and WPS Office.

However, since Donald Trump’s executive order never went into effect, Joe Biden’s withdrawal is more of a symbolic decision. Especially since Biden is quite critical of the Chinese apps and unceremoniously issued a new order.

US Department of Commerce to review Tik Tok, WeChat and Co.

Instead of a Tik Tok ban, Joe Biden has issued an order instructing the U.S. Department of Commerce to examine “apps with links to foreign adversaries” for potential risks.

This primarily involves apps and digital applications with connections to China. Biden wants to prevent the Chinese military and intelligence agencies from gaining access to the personal data of American citizens.

Apps such as Tik Tok and We Chat, which collect data from millions of users worldwide, are to be reviewed by the U.S. government in terms of data privacy and security.

If there are any inconsistencies, sanctions are likely to be imposed again. However, US President Joe Biden has so far refrained from imposing an official ban, partly because of the tense relationship between the US and China.