U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has set out measures the Trump administration plans to take to deal with technologies that it sees to be a threat, it has been dubbed the Clean Network program. According to the BBC, the new plans go much further than the current attack upon TikTok as they could result in many more Chinese apps being removed from U.S. app stores. There are also plans afoot to clamp down on cloud computing providers from China.
Pompeo set out five measures that the U.S. is looking to pursue to tackle the threats it perceives from China, they include:
- Blocking ‘untrusted … carriers’ from the U.S. telecoms networks.
- Removing Chinese apps from U.S. app stores.
- Stopping Chinese smartphone manufacturers from providing popular U.S. apps for download.
- Stopping U.S. citizens’ personal information and companies’ intellectual property from being stored and accessed on Chinese cloud services.
- Protecting undersea cables running from the U.S. to the rest of the world from Chinese intelligence gathering.
The main reason for blocking the apps and services, according to Pompeo, is that they can act as a trojan horse for Chinese intelligence. It’s unclear how much information is accessible by the Chinese state but Huawei, for example, which has long been targetted by the Trump administration, says it would never hand over data to the Chinese government.
It’s not clear when the Trump administration will put these plans into effect but it will shake things up in the tech sector. Perhaps the biggest upset in the plans is the move to stop Chinese smartphone manufacturers from pre-installing or making available popular U.S. apps. This could potentially see firms like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, and any other Chinese manufacturer receive the same treatment as Huawei when it was forced to stop using the Google Play Store.
Source: BBC News