Biden revokes Trump’s executive orders against TikTok, WeChat


TikTok logo on a phone screen

President Trump issued executive orders against TikTok and WeChat. President Biden has revoked them.

Sarah Tew/CNET

President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked the previous administration’s executive orders against TikTok and WeChat. His predecessor, President Donald Trump, targeted the Chinese-owned apps last August, calling their wide use a “national emergency.”

Under the new order signed by Biden, the US Commerce Department must regularly evaluate apps linked with foreign adversaries like China and take action if they’re determined to present a national security risk. The order also provides criteria on identifying apps that may pose “unacceptable risk” to national security, according to the White House. 

TikTok’s fate in the US has been in limbo since last year when Trump issued a pair of executive orders that cited the app’s data collection practices as national security concerns. One of the executive orders barred transactions with TikTok, while the other required Chinese parent ByteDance to sell the app’s US business. 

The orders, which would have effectively banned TikTok, prompted a scramble to find a buyer for the popular app. Oracle and Walmart struck a complex deal that appeared to have Trump’s blessing, but it wasn’t completed before he left office. That deal was then reportedly put on hold while the Biden administration reviewed the security risks posed by TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps. 

Neither TikTok nor WeChat immediately responded to requests for comment.