On January 5, 2021, President Trump issued an Executive Order Addressing the Threat Posed By Applications and Other Software Developed or Controlled By Chinese Companies (“E.O.”), which is intended to prevent Chinese entities from capturing personal information from U.S. persons through various mobile and desktop applications. Effective February 21, 2021, the E.O., among other things, prohibits any transactions subject to U.S. jurisdiction with persons and their subsidiaries identified by the secretary of commerce under the E.O. that develop or control Chinese connected software applications, including Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office.
The government will continue to evaluate Chinse connected software applications and take further action if an application poses “an unacceptable risk to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.” Thus, the list of affected software apps may expand.
On or by February 21, 2021 (within 45 days of the E.O.), the secretary, in consultation with the U.S. attorney general and director of national intelligence, is also instructed to provide a report with recommendations to prevent the sale or transfer of U.S. user data to, or access of such data by, foreign adversaries, including through the establishment of regulations and policies to identify, control, and license the export of such data.
Additionally, and “not earlier than” February 21, 2021, the secretary of commerce is ordered to identify other transactions and persons that develop or control the Chinese connected software applications that are to be prohibited under this E.O.