Trump Signs Executive Order Taking Aim at China's 'Digital Totalitarianism'


President Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps including Alipay and WeChat Pay.

The order, however, goes into effect in 45 days, nearly a month after Joe Biden will likely be inaugurated as the next president, so the fate of Trump’s action is unclear.

The orders follow two others Trump signed in August banning dealings with the popular video app TikTok as well as the main WeChat messaging app. The fate of those apps in the U.S. is still unclear.

A representative of Biden’s office did not immediately return a message for comment on Tuesday.

Alipay is a widely used digital wallet that is part of the empire of e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma. WeChat Pay is a rival service operated by tech giant Tencent.

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The others named in the order are CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate and WPS Office.

Trump’s order cites concerns about the apps collecting Americans’ personal and financial information and turning it over to China’s communist government.

Senior Trump administration officials described the apps as instruments for a communist government bent on “digital totalitarianism.”

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National security adviser Robert C. O’Brien said the order was part of Trump’s ongoing effort to “prioritize the safety and security of the United States homeland and the American people.”

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