Will China declare war on the US?

TikTok, WeChat: Trump declares IT war on China

Simon Lohmann

While the ultimatum for TikTok is still running, Trump has already announced a number of other bans: A new 5-point plan is to protect US citizens from Chinese espionage. If this plan is actually implemented, the future of an app is the least of the problem.

EnlargeEven more bans: Trump wants to implement a 5-point plan.
© Shutterstock / Evan El-Amin

Time is running: the US branch of the Chinese video service TikTok is to be sold to a US company by September 15 for national security reasons - otherwise the app will be completely banned in the US. The current question is which company should TikTok take over. Even Apple was traded as a possible candidate.

With this decision, however, US President Donald Trump has not only angered millions of TikTok users. The Chinese government has already described Trump's TikTok action as unacceptable and issued disguised threats of a reaction.

Trump wants to "clean up" the App Store of Chinese apps

This doesn't seem to impress the American government. As reported by 9to5Mac, the White House has now announced further bans and measures to protect US citizens. Accordingly, the government wants to "clean" the Apple App Store and Google Play from Chinese apps. This not only affects apps like TikTok, but also the popular messenger app "WeChat".

This is part of a 5-point plan to create clean networks. Much more important, however, is to prevent Chinese espionage attacks and contain potential national security risks.

"Since the parent companies are based in China, apps like TikTok and WeChat and others pose a significant threat to the personal information of American citizens, not to mention Chinese Communist Party's content censorship tools," Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo said during a press conference .

Accordingly, the State Department is working with the Department of Commerce and Defense to prevent Chinese cloud service providers from collecting, storing and processing data in the United States.

Trump's 5-point plan involves more than just apps

Trump's "clean networks" initiative isn't just about apps, however. As noted by CNET, it would also ban Chinese phones from roaming in the US.

The plan calls for the US Federal Communications Commission to remove the authority of a group of Chinese telecommunications providers to offer services to and from the United States.

The five sections of the Clean Network program are:

  1. Cleaner stores : Removal of Chinese apps from app stores because they "threaten our privacy, spread viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation".

  2. Clean apps : Prevent Chinese phone manufacturers from pre-installing Chinese apps or making them available on their US app stores

  3. Clean cloud : Prevent American data - "including COVID-19 vaccine research" - from being stored on cloud systems owned by Chinese companies like Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent

  4. Clean vehicle : Ensure that Chinese airlines are not connected to US networks for national security reasons

  5. Clean cables : The aim is to ensure that underwater internet cables cannot "be used by China for news gathering.

If the US government really does implement this plan, the US and China will be in a trade war. The only question is how China will react to this. Possible victims could be US companies like Apple.