WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump signed an government order on Tuesday banning transactions with eight Chinese language software program functions, together with Ant Group’s Alipay, the White Home stated, elevating tensions with Beijing earlier than the President-elect Joe Biden takes workplace this month.
The order, first reported by Reuters, instructs the Commerce Division to outline which transactions will likely be banned underneath the directive and likewise targets Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s QQ Pockets and WeChat Pay.
The transfer is aimed toward curbing the menace Chinese language software program functions pose to Individuals, who’ve massive consumer bases and entry to confidential information, a senior official informed Reuters.
An American Tencent spokeswoman didn’t instantly remark.
The order signed by Trump additionally names CamScanner, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate and WPS Workplace and says that “the US should take aggressive motion in opposition to those that develop or management linked software program functions in China to guard our nationwide safety.”
A US official informed Reuters that whereas the order gave the Commerce Division 45 days to behave, the division plans to behave earlier than January 20, when Trump leaves workplace to determine prohibited transactions.
Trump’s order says that “by accessing private digital units comparable to smartphones, tablets and computer systems, Chinese language linked software program functions can entry and seize huge swaths of consumer data, together with delicate personally identifiable data and personal data.”
He added that the information assortment “would enable China to trace the places of federal staff and contractors and create private data recordsdata.”
The Chinese language embassy in Washington didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
One other official stated the order mirrors Trump’s earlier government orders signed in August ordering Commerce to dam some transactions with Chinese language-owned WeChat and Tiktok, which search to ban some transactions which have been blocked by US courts.
Any new transaction banned by the Trump administration is more likely to face authorized challenges just like what the Commerce Division did when it tried to dam transactions with WeChat and TikTok. The Commerce orders would have successfully banned the usage of the Chinese language app in the US and prohibited the Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc app shops from providing them for obtain to new customers.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated in a press release that he helps “Trump’s dedication to guard the privateness and safety of Individuals from threats posed by the Chinese language Communist Celebration.”
The latter motion has been the topic of debate throughout the administration for a protracted interval. Many administration officers are desperate to cement America’s hard-line place with China on a number of fronts earlier than Trump leaves workplace.
Final month, the Commerce Division added dozens of Chinese language firms, together with the nation’s high chipmaker SMIC and Chinese language drone maker SZ DJI Expertise Co Ltd, to a business blacklist.
Additionally final month, the administration revealed an inventory of Chinese language and Russian firms with alleged navy ties that forestall them from shopping for a wide range of American merchandise and know-how.
In November, the administration suspended an effort to blacklist Ant Group, the Chinese language fintech firm affiliated with e-commerce big Alibaba.