Aug 24, 2020 App News
WeChat is a popular messaging, social media and mobile payment app widely used in China and has a large user base in the US as well. Following Trump's executive order to ban the app, it was not surprising that this move was met with rage from the US user base.
Earlier in August 2020, President Trump issued an executive order that gave American individuals and companies 45 days to halt transactions with the app. As WeChat is censored in China and is heavily monitored, the US government felt that there were multiple security issues and believed that the info captured on the app could be used by the Chinese Government.
A coalition of US based users registered a complaint against the Trump administration, challenging the ban of the app. They argued that the app had become an essential digital service for millions of Chinese Americans and individual or companies that do business with China as it is the only app with an interface designed for Chinese speakers. They claimed that the ban breached users' free speech rights under the first amendment as well as being targeted narrowly at a racial group and overstepping the President’s national emergency powers.
Once the ban is in effect, it will be difficult for US users to download and use the app as they will be barred from Android and Apple app stores. However, the company that owns WeChat, is confident that this ban will have minimal impact on the country and will not affect the Chinese version of the app whatsoever.
Even so, users should be free to decide what services they use as it is within their right. They should not have to live with the fear that they would be violating a law by simply contacting family and friends that reside in China or contacting Chinese affiliates for business purposes.