WeChat is the most popular and widely used app in the world. Over 1 billion people in China use the app to browse online, shop online, send and receive messages and money, and more. U.S. companies like Disney and Walmart use WeChat to get paid by and communicate with their customers in China. The app’s developer, Tencent Holdings, is a Chinese company which explains why the U.S. government is looking to ban the use of the app in the U.S. Many Chinese firms are seen as national security threats that allegedly collect personal data from Americans and U.S. companies, and send that data to Beijing.
U.S. asks judge to reverse preliminary injunction that prevents the U.S. from banning WeChat from U.S. app stores
Clay Zhu, the attorney representing the American WeChat users, says that “The government is trying to seek an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction. But it has waited for twelve days to file the appeal. If WeChat truly represents an imminent threat to national security as the government claims, it should have filed an appeal on the same day or the next day of the preliminary injunction order. The reality is that there is no emergency.”
Today, in the same San Francisco federal court where the U.S. WeChat users received a preliminary injunction blocking the government from banning the app, the Trump administration requested that the ban against the app be reinstated. The judge will have to make a ruling on this request and also on the request for a stay of her injunction. Even with the president battling COVID-19 at Washington D.C.’s Walter Reed hospital, the wheels of justice continue to move ahead although there is no time frame for when these rulings will be due.
The Justice Department claims that Judge Beeler’s ruling for a preliminary injunction was in error because it “permits the continued, unfettered use of WeChat, a mobile application that the Executive Branch has determined constitutes a threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”