Trump Bans Eight More Apps In Escalating Tensions With China

Trump Bans Eight More Apps In Escalating Tensions With China. image: Pixabay

Trump Bans Eight More Apps In Escalating Tensions With China.

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group’s Alipay mobile payment app, the White House said, escalating tensions with Beijing two weeks before president-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The move is aimed at curbing the threat to Americans posed by Chinese software applications, which have large user bases and access to sensitive data, said a senior administration official. The order argues that the US must take “aggressive action” against developers of Chinese software applications to protect national security.

It tasks the US Commerce Department with defining which transactions will be banned under the directive within 45 days and targets Tencent’s Wallet and WeChat Pay as well. The order also names CamScanner, Shareit, Tencent QQ, VMate which is published by Alibaba subsidiary UCWeb, and Beijing Kingsoft Office Software’s WPS Office.

“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.

Such data collection “would permit China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, and build dossiers of personal information,” the document adds. China will take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights of companies in view of the Trump order, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing on Wednesday, adding that the US was abusing its national power.

 


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Tony Winterburn

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