It's a good week for TikTok and WeChat users in the US as the apps are no longer facing an imminent ban in the country. The Trump administration was making moves to cut off access to both apps for US citizens, citing national security concerns, but the Biden administration is pressing pause to re-evaluate the situation.
Earlier this week, the pressure was taken off the attempted TikTok ban, and forced sale of the app to a US company, when Department of Justice attorneys confirmed that the situation was under review to gauge whether TikTok is as much of a threat as it was made out to be.
US retailer Walmart, and software company Oracle, were looking at teaming up to buy TikTok from Beijing-based owner ByteDance, but that's ground to a halt. Now, just days later, WeChat is possibly getting a reprieve as well.
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Both apps are being reviewed to see if they pose as much of a danger as alleged; Trump's TikTok ban was already bumping up against opposition when it was blocked by an appeals court last year.
If President Biden chooses to move forward with axing access, his administration can appeal up to the Supreme Court.
The main concern around the Chinese apps is that data gathered from and about US users could be passed on to the Chinese government. TikTok is adamant that this scenario won't be happening, but WeChat has reportedly already shared such information to help refine the censorship algorithms for native Chinese users.
While we wait for the review of TikTok and WeChat, users can rest easy for now, but the issues hasn't been put to bed just yet.
Source: Forbes (opens in new tab)