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Jan 05, 2021
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TOPLINE President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday effectively banning Ant Group’s Alipay, WeChat Pay, Tencent QQ and other popular Chinese apps in the U.S., ratcheting up tensions with China as the White House continues to take action against Chinese tech companies.

The order prohibits transactions with Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office.

In a statement, the White House said these apps pose a national security threat because they could be forced to hand over data on American users to the Chinese government.

It’s unclear if these bans will actually go into effect, considering courts have either blocked or delayed similar bans, which used the same rationale, against TikTok and WeChat last year.

The executive order is part of a broader effort from the Trump administration for a “clean network,” which aims to purge Chinese companies from U.S. internet and telecommunications infrastructure. U.S. officials and lawmakers from both parties warn that Chinese companies could be forced to hand over data on U.S. citizens to the Chinese government. But Trump in particular has spent much of his time in office advocating for tough-on-China trade policies, while Democrats warn these types of executive orders are haphazard.

The order goes into effect in 45 days, which will be after Trump leaves office. It’s unclear if Biden will stop the order from being implemented.

Alipay is owned by billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group.

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