In February 2021, President Joseph Biden’s administration sought a pause in ongoing litigation involving Chinese mobile applications TikTok and WeChat in order to evaluate the record and determine whether there was an actual national security threat as previously determined by former President Donald Trump. On June 9, 2021, President Biden issued a new executive order separately addressing the threat posed to the U.S. information and communications technology and services (ICTS) supply chain, and which revoked the prior executive orders. Given these actions, on July 14, 2021 and August 10, 2021, the cases challenging the TikTok and WeChat bans were voluntarily dismissed as moot.
These cases were the result of two August 6, 2020, executive orders issued by former President Donald Trump which sought to ban certain transactions with China-based mobile applications TikTok and WeChat. Both executive orders stated that the “mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) … threaten[ed] the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” These orders and the Department of Commerce’s effort to implement the scope of prohibited transactions under the executive orders were challenged in court with preliminary injunctions granted by the courts against implementation of the executive orders. For previous information on the litigation, see Updates of February 12, 2021 and October 5, 2020. For more details on the Executive Orders involving TikTok, WeChat and the ICTS supply chain, see Updates of August 7, 2020 and June 10, 2021.