Trump administration prevents transactions with 8 Chinese apps
WASHINGTON (US) – US President Donald Trump inked an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group’s Alipay mobile payment app, said the White House. This is expected to further strain ties with Beijing two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden assumes office.
This development is aimed at curbing the threat posed by Chinese software applications as they have larger user bases and access to sensitive information, said a senior administration official.
As per the order, the United States must take “aggressive action” against developers of Chinese software applications in a bid to protect national security.
The order also entrusts the Commerce Department with the task of defining which transactions are to be prohibited within 45 days and targets Tencent Holdings Ltd’s QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay as well.
The order also includes CamScanner, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate published by Alibaba Group subsidiary UCWeb, and Beijing Kingsoft Office Software’s WPS Office.
In a statement published by Chinese media, Kingsoft said it did not expect Trump’s order to have a substantial impact on its business in the short term.
“By accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information,” the executive order states.
Data collection “would permit China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, and build dossiers of personal information,” says the document.
It also aims to cement Trump’s tough-on-China policy before the inauguration of the new presidency on Jan. 20.
There are chances Biden could revoke the order on the first day of his presidency.