Trump signs order blocking transactions with eight Chinese apps

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The Catalyst / Lynne Pan

Alipay, WeChat, and QQ are three of the eight apps that are banned in the order.

On January 5, President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting transactions with eight Chinese software applications. Trump claimed that the apps can access private information from their users, which poses a threat to U.S. national security since companies could share that information with the Chinese government.

I’m a little bit concerned about how I can pay if WeChat is banned or QQ is banned. People usually use WeChat pay, even if we are in America.”

— Helen Ren

The order released by the White House bars Americans from using Alipay, WeChat Pay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, and WPS Office, taking effect in 45 days. Two of the most popular applications are Alipay and WeChat Pay. Alipay is a widely used online payment platform established by the Alibaba Group. WeChat Pay is a rival service operated by Tencent, one of the largest tech companies in China.

“I’m a little bit concerned about how I can pay if WeChat is banned or QQ is banned,” said NDB sophomore Helen Ren, an international student from China. “People usually use WeChat pay, even if we are in America. But for me I don’t really use WeChat pay, and my family, they are in China, so it doesn’t matter for them.”

With the former disputes between Washington and Beijing, including the trade war and the origin of COVID-19, this order could increase the tensions in the future and make a great impact on the Chinese economy. However, since the order takes effect after Biden takes office, the fate of the order is unclear for now.

“It’s hard to say because it’s not that it’s a small issue, it’s just that it’s something that is one piece of the larger puzzle of how does the U.S. maintain its relationship with China, while also recognizing that both the U.S. and China kind of want to be the dominant powers in Southeast Asia,” NDB Social Science teacher Jonathan Tomczak said when ask about what Biden would do with this order. “It’s possible he might keep it as a negotiating tool, like if he wants to strike a bigger deal with China or something. I can’t predict what he’ll do specifically about this issue, but I’m sure it’s going to be reviewed and a decision will be made considering all of the possible economic and political consequences.”

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