US President Joe Biden has suspended legal proceedings against TikTok and WeChat, a move that could have made sure both apps were banned in the USA.
Former President, Donald Trump, initiated the move to ban both apps, claiming they threaten America’s security. Both internet companies never took the threat to ban them lightly. Instead they filed legal actions against the proposed ban.
President Joe Biden’s administration has asked for an “abeyance” – in simple terms, a suspension – of legal proceedings while it revisits whether the apps pose a threat.
This delay means both apps can continue to operate in the US. In the meantime however, new staff at government agencies will “become familiar with issues in this case”, as stated in the legal documents.
Former President Trump claimed the spread of mobile apps developed and owned by Chinese firms in the US threatened the country’s “national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.
WeChat, Chinese messaging app juggernaut, says the US only accounts for 2% of its revenue, while it has more than a billion users globally. TikTok, social media’s rave at the moment and popular video-sharing app, has about 800 million users, of which a staggering 100 million are in the US.
Bytedance, parent company of TikTok, has been in talks with software giant Oracle and retail titan Walmart to finalize a deal to avoid a ban in the country by shifting TikTok’s US assets shifted into a new entity. Reports though are saying the likelihood of any deal could be called off if President Biden’s administration takes a strategy towards Chinese apps.
USA In Focus:
Population: 328.2 million (2019)
GDP: $87.7 trillion (2019)
GDP Per Capita: $65,297 (2019)