US government’s ban on WeChat blocked by court

A couple of weeks ago, the Trump administration had announced that downloads for WeChat platform will be banned in the United States from 20th September, i.e. today. Along with that, it was also said that all the transactions to the company from the U.S. will be banned.

Now, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California has blocked the ban from going in effect. The order stated that WeChat users, who filed a lawsuit, “have shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs favor.”

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The preliminary injunction blocks the Commerce Department from forcing Apple and Google to remove WeChat application from download availability. It also blocks the department’s order that would have barred other transactions with WeChat.

The judge added that the ban on WeChat does not provide enough evidence that it is narrowly tailored to resolve the US government’s national security concerns. She also pointed out other alternatives suggested by the plaintiffs, such as barring WeChat from government devices, or taking other steps to address data security.

Along with WeChat, the department was also going to block downloads for TikTok and further restrictions were scheduled to go in effect from 12th November. However, Donald Trump has approved TikTok deal with Oracle and Walmart.

Once the deal goes through, the popular short-video social media platform won’t be banned in the United States. While Trump has approved the deal, it seems that the Chinese government will have a final say in the matter.