President Trump bans eight applications from Chinese software companies via a new executive order. According to Reuters President Donald Trump has banned eight Chinese software applications. The President signed an executive order on January 5 to make the ban official.
The eight banned applications include Ant Group’s Alipay mobile payment app. The White House made this announcement which escalates tensions with Beijing before President-Elect Joe Biden takes place.
The new move aims to curb the threat which Chinese software applications pose to United States citizens. The Chinese applications have larger user bases and access to sensitive data according to a senior administration official.
According to the executive order, the United States must take “aggressive action” against developers of Chinese software applications. This aggressive action aims to protect national security. The Commerce Department is tasked with defining which transactions will be banned.
The directive gives the Department of Commerce 45 days, and it targets Tencent Holdings Ltd. Tencent Holdings is over QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay as well. The other eight banned applications are CamScanner, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate. VMate is published by UCWeb which is a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. Lastly is Beijing Kingsoft Office Software’s WPS Office which rounds out the eight.
Chinese applications access electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. This access allows applications to capture information from users. This information includes sensitive personally identifiable information and private information according to the executive order.
The collection of this data “would permit” China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors. Building dossiers of personal information would be the end result according to the order.
President Trump bans eight Chinese applications. Keeps pressure on China
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says that “China will take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights of companies in view of the Trump order.”. Chynying also says that the U.S. is abusing its national power by unreasonably suppressing foreign companies.
On Wednesday China’s Ministry of Commerce said the U.S. ban goes against fair competition. The ministry alleges the order harms the interest of Chinese companies and their customers. These customers include the ones in the United States as well who “widely welcomed” the apps as a contactless payment option during the pandemic.
However, Kingsoft doesn’t seem to be fazed by the new order. The company released a statement saying it did not expect the new order to impact business in the short term. In addition Ant, the transition team for Joe Biden and share it have not made any comments.
President Donald Trump has been tough on China during his presidency. His tough-on China strategy has been the main point of his presidency since he became President. From trade wars to bans on various other Chinese companies like Huawei, the President took the fight to China.
This new order while in effect now could be revoked once Joe Biden officially takes power. If the incoming president decides to do this we could see reversals of other bans on Chinese companies as well.