The US president considers China-based apps, often used for purchases or business transactions, to be dangerous for national security.
Macau.- US-based casinos in Macau could take a serious hit due to the executive order president Donald Trump signed this week banning Chinese apps such as WeChat Pay and Alipay, often used for business transactions and purchases.
The executive order was issued on Tuesday and will enter in force 45 days after, once Trump is no longer in power and president elect Joseph Biden is in charge of the US government.
Biden could eventually cancel the order that prohibits the use of eight China-based apps: Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay and WPS Office.
In the executive order, Trump states that “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, to include Hong Kong and Macau (China), continue to threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States.”
It goes on to say that it considers Chinese applications a threat to national security as they collect the user’s personal information.
“This data collection threatens to provide the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — which would permit China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors and build dossiers of personal information,” Trump said.
Much like in August when Trump fired against apps widely used in the gambling industry, such as WeChat, US-based casinos in Macau are concerned about the implications the new regulation may have on their business.
Currently, the three operators in the city that have a base in the US are Wynn Macau, Sands China and MGM China.
As tensions between the US government and Chinese authorities escalate through such actions against the private sector, casinos fear being the target of retaliation measures from China.
This is particularly important in light of the 2022 casino tender in which their licences could be renewed but at a higher price.