By Spy Uganda Correspondent
USA: 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 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.
The development comes after the Trump administration last year received court instructions blocking an executive order by the US government that would have effectively banned TikTok in the country.
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Alipay is a third-party mobile and online payment platform, established in Hangzhou, China in February 2004 by Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma. In 2015, Alipay moved its headquarters to Pudong, Shanghai, although its parent company Ant Financial remains Hangzhou-based.