President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order that is to prohibit transactions with the companies behind eight Chinese apps; which includes Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent’s QQ and WeChat Pay.
The order is to come into effect and will prohibit the transactions in 45 days according to Reuters. The eight apps include Alipay; CamScanner; QQ; Wallet; SHAREit; Tencent QQ; VMate; WeChat Pay; and WPS Office.
The US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, has confirmed that the Department will “begin implementing the E.O.’s directives, including identifying prohibited transactions.”
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The Commerce Department will also begin the implementation before President Trump leaves office on 20th January 2021, Reuters reports, citing an unnamed official source.
The Trump administration had earlier tried to ban transactions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and WeChat In August 2020. However, that attempt didn’t go far as a judge blocked the WeChat ban in September and in October 2020. In December 2020, another judge granted a preliminary injunction blocking the executive order banning TikTok.
The Judge in the WeChat case had said that the WeChat users had raised ‘serious questions’ that the ban could violate their First Amendment rights. The group said the executive order banning the app in the US would violate users’ free speech rights, specifically targeting Chinese Americans.
It is also possible that like the previous executive orders, this one also does not come into effect. This is especially believable considering the short amount of time before President Trump leaves office and considering President-elect Biden might not take the same approach against the companies.
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