Just two weeks before the end of US President Trump’s term, he has signed an executive order to ban Ant Group’s financial services platform, Alipay along with eight other Chinese software applications.
As we all must know the ongoing rift between China and the USA, Trump’s administration has been firm and hard towards the safety of the nation. This strategic move played by President trump will further shake the Chinese walls, and the stern decision and scope of order regarding enforcing it or relieving it would eventually fall on the shoulders of Joe Biden’s administration after two weeks when he holds the office. Biden may or may not keep the decisions and orders taken by President Trump and has certainly not commented on this latest ban on eight Chinese applications.
According to Forbes India, the executive order which was signed on Tuesday will prohibit any transaction with the person that controls or develops the Chinese software applications that include WeChat Pay, operating by Tencent Holdings Pvt Ltd., Tencent QQ, QQ Wallet, WPS Office, Alipay by Ant Group and CamScanner, further including their subsidiaries after a 45 days period.
There have been speculations and this is exactly what Trump says that China had been using the user data and information collected by these Chinese apps to advance its national security and economic agenda. He further says that these activities by the Chinese apps put the Americans at high risk.
Furthermore, the executive order quoted that these banned applications could collect and access a swab of sensitive and personally identifiable private information from its users and action must be taken to address the potential threat posed by these Chinese software applications.
The differences between China and the USA have been prevalent since last fall when President trump banned popular Chinese social media platforms, TikTok and WeChat in the country. Not just in America, these apps with a total of 267 other Chinese apps have also been banned by the Indian Government under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act for the security of the state and public order.
However, these bans pose a heavy disturbance in the lives of Chinese Americans who travel back and forth to these countries and use these communication apps to stay connected. As mentioned in a report by Forbes India, this ban has a limited reach and affect those who Chinese who reside in America and the other way round. The executive order clearly phrases that many of these connected digital Chinese applications handle data belonging to the American citizens and can be a potential security threat to the nation.