Statement from National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien on the Executive Order Addressing Chinese Software Applications
Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order addressing the continuing threat posed by Chinese software applications. The Chinese government requires that all commercial companies, big and small, support the Chinese Communist Party’s political objectives as Chinese regulators have recently demonstrated.
China’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy explicitly aims to co-opt or coerce civilian enterprises into assisting the People’s Liberation Army. This executive order tasks the Secretary of Commerce to identify prohibited transactions involving eight Chinese software applications, including payment services; directs the Secretary of Commerce to identify and take appropriate action against other software applications; and develops a program to control the export of exploitable United States user data to foreign adversaries.
President Trump continues to prioritize the safety and security of the United States homeland and the American people.
Message to the Congress on Addressing the Threat Posed By Applications and Other Software Developed or Controlled By Chinese Companies
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order declaring additional steps to be taken concerning the national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and services supply chain declared in Executive Order 13873 of May 15, 2019 (Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain) to deal with the threat posed by applications and other software developed or controlled by Chinese companies.
The pace and pervasiveness of the spread in the United States of certain connected mobile and desktop applications and other software developed or controlled by persons in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), to include Hong Kong and Macau (China), continue to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. By accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information. The continuing activity of the PRC and the Chinese Communist Party to steal or otherwise obtain United States persons’ data makes clear that there is an intent to use bulk data collection to advance China’s economic and national security agenda. To deal with this threat, additional steps are required against those who develop or control certain Chinese connected software applications to protect our national security.
The Executive Order prohibits certain future transactions, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), involving the following Chinese connected software applications: Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office. The Secretary is also directed to:
(i) continue to evaluate Chinese connected software applications that may pose an unacceptable risk to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, and to take appropriate action in accordance with Executive Order 13873; and
(ii) in consultation with the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence, provide a report to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs with recommendations to prevent the sale or transfer of United States user data to, or access of such data by, foreign adversaries, including through the establishment of regulations and policies to identify, control, and license the export of such data.
I have delegated to the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, the authority to take such actions, including adopting appropriate rules and regulations, and employing all other powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to implement the Executive Order. The heads of all executive departments and agencies are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement the provisions of the Executive Order.
I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 5, 2021.