TikTok’s woes subsided with Mr. Trump’s election defeat. Though the company is still under scrutiny with the Biden administration’s new executive order, analysts say the dramatic ups and downs for the company will significantly dwindle.
James Lewis, a senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Biden administration had shown no easing of the government’s strong stance against China. But the new order lays out much more precise criteria for weighing risks posed by TikTok and other companies owned by foreign adversaries like China.
“They are taking the same direction as the Trump administration but in some ways tougher, in a more orderly fashion and implemented in a good way,” Mr. Lewis said. He added that Mr. Biden’s order was stronger than the Trump-era directive because “it’s coherent, not random.”
Under the new system outlined in Mr. Biden’s order, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo would be empowered to “use a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis” to examine software applications designed, manufactured or developed by a “foreign adversary,” including China, according to a memo circulated by Commerce Department officials and obtained by The New York Times.
“The Biden administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet,” the memo said. “Certain countries,” including China, “do not share these democratic values.”
On Wednesday, administration officials would not go into specifics about the future of TikTok’s availability to American users or say whether the U.S. government would seek to compel ByteDance, which owns the app, to transfer American user data to a company based in the United States. Amid a number of successful legal challenges waged by ByteDance, a deal to transfer the data to Oracle fell through this year shortly after Mr. Biden took office.
Administration officials said a review of TikTok by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the body that considers the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies, was still continuing and separate from the order.