Trump bans eight Chinese payment apps

Donald Trump stands in front of a lectern. The US flag can be seen behind it.

US President Donald Trump has banned eight Chinese payment service providers in the US by decree. Including AliPay and WeChat Pay.

It is the latest attack in the raging trade war between the two economic powers

Donald Trump is in the final days of his presidency. The outgoing US president is now using one of his last official acts to ban several Chinese payment apps in the USA. To this end, Trump signed a decree on January 5th, which was posted on the White House homepageis visible. According to this, the American head of state bans the financial applications of several Chinese companies, including Alipay, the online trading platform Alibaba and WeChat Pay from the Internet company Tencent. CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, and WPS Office are also affected. It is one of the final blows between the Trump administration and China.

The decree enters into force 45 days after its adoption. Consumers are then no longer allowed to conduct business using the payment apps. Transactions that would circumvent the ban are also prohibited. As a justification, the current president cites data protection reasons that concern “national security”. He feared that the Beijing government would misuse Americans‘ personal data for espionage purposes. The information obtained from the data could, for example, allow China to create dossiers from federal officials. It is a matter of „national security“, said Trump. In addition, these apps threatened:

In addition, the president had instructed his trade minister to keep an eye out for other Chinese companies that pose a threat to national security.

Trump’s fight against China goes into the next round

At the beginning of August last year, Donald Trump announced plans to ban the popular Chinese video platform TikTok. At that time he accused the company ByteDance, which is behind TikTok, of also transferring data from US citizens to the Chinese government. As a result, software giant Microsoft was urged by the US government to negotiate a deal with ByteDance to take over the US business. In December, Trump suffered a major setback after a US court ruled that the president’s move was „not legally covered“.

Specifically, Trump relied on a law of 1977 that grants the US president broad emergency powers in the event of extraordinary dangers from abroad. However, the import and export of information or information material as well as personal communication should not be restricted. According to the judge, TikTok clearly falls into this category. He therefore granted the interim injunction against the operating ban requested by Tiktok.

With the current bans, however, the White House could be more successful, as in the current case the circumcision of information and the restriction of freedom of speech are less likely to be the case.