TikTok’s woes calmed down with Mr. Trump’s election defeat. While the company is still under scrutiny with the Biden administration’s new executive order, analysts say the dramatic ups and downs for the company will diminish significantly.
James Lewis, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Biden administration had shown no easing of the government’s tough stance against China. But the new order sets out much more precise criteria for assessing the risks posed by TikTok and other companies owned by foreign adversaries like China.
“They are taking the same direction as the Trump administration, but in some ways tougher, more orderly and satisfactorily implemented,” Lewis said. He added that Mr. Biden’s order was stronger than the Trump-era directive because “it’s consistent, not random.”
Under the new system outlined in Mr Biden’s order, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo would be empowered to “use a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous evidence-based analysis” to review software applications designed, manufactured, or developed by a “foreign adversary,” including China, according to a memo released by Commerce Department officials and obtained by The New York Times.
“The Biden administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet,” the memo reads. “Some countries”, including China, “do not share these democratic values.”
Administration officials would not go into details on the future of TikTok’s availability to US users on Wednesday, nor would the US government seek to force the app owner ByteDance to transfer the data. from US users to a US-based company. Amid a number of successful legal challenges by ByteDance, an agreement to move data to Oracle collapsed this year shortly after Mr Biden took office.
Administration officials said a review of TikTok by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the body that examines the national security implications of foreign investments in American businesses, was ongoing and was separate of the prescription.