Services & Software

Trump executive order bans transactions with eight Chinese apps

The president says the apps pose a threat to US national security.

An executive order from President Trump bars transactions on eight Chinese-created apps, saying they pose a threat to national security.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that prohibits transactions with eight Chinese-made apps, including WeChat Pay.

Trump's order, titled Addressing the Threat Posed by Applications and other Software Developed or Controlled by Chinese Companies," says that action is needed to "deal with the national emergency" caused by the pervasiveness of apps created and controlled in China that "continue to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."

Trump's order, like previous ones against Chinese-made apps, argues that the software collects "vast swaths of information" from their US users.

Other apps that fall under the order include Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, Shareit, Tencent QQ, VMate and WPS Office.

The new order resembles executive orders Trump issued in August against WeChat and fellow Chinese tech app TikTok that also cited national security concerns related to data collection. A US judge in September temporarily blocked the Trump order  against WeChat,while another judge blocked the order against TikTok, finding the government had "likely overstepped" its authority in pushing to ban the app.

The order takes effect in 45 days, after Trump has left the White House. The US Commerce Secretary said in a statement he has directed the department to begin implementing the order, including identifying transactions that are prohibited under the order.

Alipay, a mobile payments app with more than 1 billion users, is owned by Ant Group. Representatives for Ant Group didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. WeChat owner Tencent couldn't immediately be reached for comment.