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Washington: The White House has dropped Trump-era executive orders that attempted to ban the popular apps TikTok and WeChat and will conduct its own review aimed at identifying national security risks with software applications tied to China, officials said Wednesday.

A new executive order directs the Commerce Department to undertake what officials describe as an “evidence-based” analysis of transactions involving apps that are manufactured or supplied or controlled by China. Officials are particularly concerned about apps that collect users’ persona data or have connections to Chinese military or intelligence activities.

The department also will make recommendations on how to further protect Americans’ genetic and personal health information, and will address the risks of certain software apps connected to China or other adversaries, according to senior administration officials.

The Biden administration’s move reflects the ongoing concern that Americans’ personal data could be exposed by popular apps tied to China, a chief US economic and political rival. The White House and Congress have both taken action to address Beijing’s technological advancement. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that aims to boost US semiconductor production and the development of artificial intelligence and other technology in the face of growing international competition.

The administration earlier this year had backed off President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban the popular video app TikTok, asking a court to postpone a legal dispute as the government began a broader review of the national security threats posed by Chinese technology companies.




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