January 19, 2021

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Trump signs ban on Alipay and 7 other Chinese apps

Trump signs ban on Alipay and 7 other Chinese apps


Photo: ANP

US President Donald Trump has banned transactions with eight Chinese apps with a new decree. The payment app Alipay from Ant Group is on this blacklist. With the intervention, Trump caused growing tensions between China and the United States shortly before his successor Joe Biden took office.

According to Trump, the ban, which will come into force in 45 days, is necessary as the proliferation of apps developed in China threatens US national security. It refers to all data that apps collect from users. The president has instructed the Department of Commerce to establish more precise rules on which transactions between Americans and the apps are prohibited.

The Alipay ban is another setback for Jack Ma, Ant Group CEO. He has not been seen publicly since October as the Chinese authorities put increasing pressure on the company. Ma is said to have viewed the government regulations in China too critically. The supervisory authorities in the Asian country previously blocked an Ant Group mega-exchange.

Transactions with the apps CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay and WPS Office are also blocked. According to research firm SensorTower, CamScanner, which can be used to scan documents, was the most used of these apps in the US in 2020 with 4.4 million downloads.

It is expected that lawsuits against the ban on the apps will be filed immediately. A previous attempt by Trump to force the sale of large parts of the TikTok video app to an American party has so far stalled in the courtroom. There is also the possibility that Biden could repeal the decree after taking office, even before it comes into force.