New Delhi: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order, banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group’s Alipay, a payment platform owned by Jack Ma, and WeChat Pay, owned by Tencent. The decision comes just two weeks before Trump ends his term.Also Read - European Union Wants 'Verifiable Proof' of Tennis Player Peng Shuai's Safety | Tennis News

The executive order, which toughens the already harsh stance of the US administration on China, is expected to further rile Beijing. Also Read - Supreme Court Set to Take Up All-Or-Nothing Abortion Fight

The order bars any transactions with “persons that develop or control” the apps of Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office and their subsidiaries after a period of 45 days as they threaten American national security. Also Read - China Could Record Over 6.3 Lakh Daily COVID Cases If....., Warns Study

“At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by these Chinese connected software applications,” wrote President Trump.

Previously, the Trump administration has even considered banning popular short video streaming platform TikTok over “national security” concerns.

US-China trade tensions have roiled financial markets since they began. However, the Trump administration launched a broadside against China on all fronts, including trade, Tibet and Taiwan besides, scathing criticism against the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) headed by President Xi Jinping.

With Biden stepping in as the new president, China now hopes to restore ties and restart cooperation.