US President Joe Biden ‘pauses’ TikTok and WeChat bans

US President Joe Biden ‘pauses’ TikTok and WeChat bans

US President Joe Biden has paused legal action against TikTok and WeChat, which could have seen the apps banned in the United States.

While president, Donald Trump had sought to ban both apps, claiming they were a national security threat.

Both companies had taken legal action against the proposed bans.

The new administration has now asked for an “abeyance” – or suspension – of proceedings while it revisits whether the apps really pose a threat.

The delay means both apps can continue to operate in the US while new staff at government agencies “become familiar with the issues in this case”, the legal documents state.

Mr Trump had claimed that the spread in the US of mobile apps developed and owned by Chinese firms threatened “the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.

Messaging app WeChat has more than one billion users worldwide, but says the US only accounts for 2% of its revenue.

Video-sharing app TikTok has about 800 million users worldwide, of which 100 million are in the US.

The app’s owner, ByteDance, has been in talks with software company Oracle and supermarket giant Walmart to finalise a deal that would see TikTok’s US assets shifted into a new entity, to avoid a ban in the country.

Reports have suggested the deal could be cancelled if the Biden administration adopts a softer approach towards Chinese apps.

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