President Trump was no fan of TikTok. Nor was he a fan of anything from China that could be deemed a national security risk. Thus far, President Biden has agreed, along with fellow Democrats and Republicans (and European leaders of nearly every party) that China's growth and influence need to be contained, and that the government in Beijing is not to be trusted.
But Biden is showing that he is doing it his way, not Trump's. On Wednesday, according to a memo circulated by the Commerce Department and obtained by The New York Times, the president will revoke and replace Trump’s executive order that sought to ban TikTok from U.S. app stores.
The Biden administration will perform its own broader review of numerous foreign-controlled applications that could pose a security risk. The president and his team certainly share the same concerns about risks to Americans and their data as his predecessor.
According to the aforementioned memo circulated by the Commerce Department, Biden's order will address a number of applications and look to strengthen recent moves the Biden administration has made in its effort to weaken the influence of China's big tech companies.
Biden’s order “will direct the secretary of commerce to use a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to evaluate and address the risks” posed by foreign-operated applications, according to the memo. “As warranted, the secretary will determine appropriate actions based on a thorough review of the risks posed by foreign adversary connected software applications.”
Trump's efforts to force the sale of the popular video-sharing app to its parent ByteDance is, for now, off the table; the legal fight is still being battled out in the courts. The Biden administration will also address the ban on the Chinese messaging app WeChat as well, according to the memo.