United States President Joe Biden intensifies its crackdown on Chinese companies in the name of privacy and data security.
Sources told Reuters that, this time, the US president is after Chinese apps that don’t take data security seriously. Apparently, the move will force some Chinese app to tighten their rules in protecting users’ private information unless they want to lose the American market.
The goal here is to prevent US adversaries like Russia and China from having access to a large number of personal and proprietary business information.
A source said that the US Department of Commerce could issue a subpoena to collect data about a particular tablet, smartphone, and desktop software apps. The department will then negotiate conditions for their use in the US or ban the apps completely.
President Biden and US courts have revoked former-President Donald Trump’s ban on popular Chinese app WeChat by Tencent holdings Co. and TikTok of ByteDance Ltd.
A lot of US officials share the same concerns that Trump had when he banned TikTok last year. Sources say that, using the app, the Chinese government could track the locations of US government employees, build dossiers of personal info for blackmail, and even conduct corporate espionage.
With Biden’s new order, the latest administration can ban more Chinese apps than Trump’s due to the more robust legal framework.
See also: US President Biden bans investments in Chinese companies like Huawei and 58 others
US officials have apparently started talking with allied countries in adopting a similar move.
What apps will be banned lies on the decision of US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Albeit, they must meet certain criteria. For one, they should be managed and controlled by a person or entity that supports military or intelligence activities of adversary countries like Russia or China.