In the final days of his administration US President Donald Trump has barred transactions with seven Chinese applications, including Alipay payment platform owned by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group.
The executive order, signed Tuesday, also hit Tencent QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay, as well as the apps CamScanner, SHAREit, VMate and WPS Office.
The measure comes amid major concerns that the apps could be used to track and build dossiers on US federal employees, and follows several aggressive steps against Chinese tech giants
“The United States must take aggressive action against those who develop or control Chinese connected software applications to protect our national security,” the order said.
The order, which will come into effect in 45 days, well after the president leaves office, follows such anti-China measures as a total ban on WeChat downloads and an attempt to block the short-form video app TikTok in the US. The former was temporarily blocked by a federal judge, while the latter became subject to restrictions issued by multiple courts.
Last month, the Trump administration rained down on China’s largest semiconductor manufacturer SMIC, restricting technology sales to the firm over an alleged risk they could be used by the military.
Washington also blacklisted China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom Hong Kong, barring US investments in the majors of the Chinese telecom industry. Earlier this week, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) refused to delist the companies.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section