U.S President Donald Trump is continuing to pile the pressure on Chinese tech companies in the closing days of his administration. The order prohibits transactions with Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office.
It's not at all clear how effective this order will be. It is set to take effect 45 days from now, well after Trump leaves office. Prior orders that Trump has issued against Chinese tech firms have run into trouble. An order banning WeChat downloads in the United States was temporarily blocked by a federal judge, for example. Multiple courts have also issued temporary injunctions against the administration's attempts to ban the short-form video app TikTok.
Biden could, however, revoke the order on the first day of his presidency, though his transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. Despite the 45-day time line laid out by the order, the Commerce Department plans to act before Jan. 20 to identify prohibited transactions, another U.S. official told Reuters.
"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 says "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."
"This is another example of the United States wantonly bullying foreign companies by abusing state power on the untenable ground of national security. Such hegemonic practice serves the interests of none. The measures will doubtlessly have some effect on Chinese companies, but more importantly, what will suffer at the end of the day is the interests of American consumers, and the national interests of the United States itself. What the United States has been doing is a vivid textbook on double-facing on its much-touted free market economy and fair competition."
“我们注意到美方声称禁止支付宝和微信支付的理由是‘保护美国公民的隐私和数据安全’。但事实是，美国一直是地球上最大的‘黑客帝国’，运用其强大的技术能力，无孔不入、无处不在地监控本国人民，监听世界各国人民，窃取各种数据，其盟友也不能幸免。美方手段包括在应用程序中设置‘后门’，胁迫电信运营商，这从早已曝光的‘脏盒’、 ‘棱镜门’、 ‘怒角计划’中大家已经看得非常清楚了。”
"The U.S. side claims that the ban on Alipay and WeChat Pay is to protect American citizens' privacy and data security. However, the fact is, the United States is unrivalled when it comes to telecom theft. Its strong surveillance and highly resourceful means has rendered privacy or data security nothing but fiction for the American people and people in other countries. It steals data from everywhere and everyone, and its allies are not spared either. We all know the moves it employs-installing backdoors and pressuring telecom carriers from already disclosed ‘Dirtbox’, ‘PRIS’ and ‘Irritant Horn’. "
"While conducting non-discriminatory surveillance and theft, the United States has been blaming others with no evidence at all. This is like a habitual thief blatantly stealing from others while asserting its own right to be free from theft. How hypocritical and preposterous!"
“I would like to add that science and technology should be a force for good in the service of human progress and welfare. It should not be ranked superior or inferior based on ideology, still less should it be used as a tool for political manipulation. The United States is so paranoid about China's scientific progress, even going so far as to make it a matter of ideology. This exposes its severe lack of confidence and reluctance to make new progress.”
"We urge the U.S. side to earnestly respect market economy and fair competition principles, abide by international trade rules and provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies, including Chinese ones to invest and operate. The Chinese side will continue taking necessary measures to safeguard Chinese companies' legitimate rights and interests."
The Trump administration has been ratcheting up its pressure on Chinese firms in the weeks before Biden takes office.
The move, two weeks before the end of Trump’s term, could help lock in his administration’s harsher stance toward China and is likely to further rankle Beijing.
"The Trump administration is still rushing through its list of penalties to restrict the US-China relationship in hope of inducing China into retaliating, further worsening ties, and tying [President-elect Joe] Biden's hands," said Scott Kennedy, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
He said that, while the restrictions on these apps are meant to be "highly disruptive," it remains to be seen whether they will actually be implemented.
综合来源：路透社，CNN，BBC， New York Times，观察者网