The Minister of Foreign Affairs of USA, Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday called for the extension of US government restrictions on Chinese technology, saying he wanted to see "unreliable Chinese apps" removed from app stores of Apple and Google. However, this proposal of Pompeo provoked a wave of reactions as it was considered vague and even illegal.
Pompeo has repeatedly expressed his opposition to Chinese apps. Indicatively, it featured the popular video application TikTok and the WeChat messaging app, which people in the US use to communicate with others in the US and China, as “significant personal threats data of American citizens, but also as tools of censorship of the content of the Communist Party of China ".
The US government has already excluded Chinese technology companies from its market, with the typical example of Huawei, urging other countries to stop using equipment from China for their 5G networks. At the same time, US telecommunications companies have been barred from using state funds for equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier.
Citing national security concerns, the US government has also banned Google from providing Android apps, such as Google maps, on Huawei phones. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering banning Chinese telecommunications companies. China Telecom and China Unicom, which provide services in the US due to national security concerns.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, also threatened to ban TikTok, although the legal basis for such a move is uncertain. Susan Ariel Aaronson, a professor at George Washington University, said that Trump's statement was a communication ploy and nothing more.
Paul Triolo, its analyst Eurasia Group, noted that the US government is trying to push the country's allies and companies to stop using Chinese tools and software at all levels of their communication networks, from the "backbone" of the Internet to app stores. This includes urging companies to remove their applications from Huawei's app store, which advertises that it contains applications from European and American companies, such as the booking service Amazon.
The legal basis for the US government's decision to oppose apps and app stores is unclear, Triolo said. In addition, the State Department did not immediately inquire about the legal authority that the government could use to justify such measures. Finally, Triolo stressed that this US initiative aims to force countries and companies to take the side of either the US or China, noting that he expects many governments and companies to oppose this policy.