US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has said he expects President Donald Trump’s attempts to block WeChat and TikTok to “eventually” be successful.
Moves by the Trump administration to restrict Chinese-owned social media platforms in the United States have been suspended due to what it said were national security reasons as a result of court orders.
WeChat and TikTok users have argued that the bans are driven by election year policies rather than genuine security concerns.
O’Brien said at an event in Vietnam, the capital of Hanoi.
“I think in the end that the president’s authority regarding this ban on those applications will be enforced. I believe that even if there is a change in administration, this ban will be implemented.”
President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on Jan.20, has promised to review the security risks surrounding TikTok.
“The administration is also looking at other Chinese companies that have popular applications in the US that are taking a lot of data from the American people,” O’Brien said. “We are looking at these applications as well and there might be some actions. We have to see what the president decides to do.”
O’Brien took frequent hits in China.
He said China should learn to play according to international rules, and should not act as if it had the South China Sea “as if it were a lake.”
China’s vast territorial claims in the resource-rich South China Sea have put it at odds with its Southeast Asian neighbors, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
The United States has sent warships and aircraft near disputed territories for decades to assert freedom of navigation through what it considers international airspace and waters.