A federal judge in California has blocked the Trump administration’s banning the “WeChat” app, a messaging platform identified as providing the Chinese Communist Party backdoor access to its data.
Owned by Tencent, a company the U.S. State Department labeled a “tool of the Chinese government,” WeChat was set to be banned along with TikTok.
Now, however, a California-based judge “entered an order Sunday for a preliminary injunction blocking the federal ban on U.S. downloads and other functions from going into force as scheduled for 11:59 pm Sunday.”
In her 22-page order, Judge Beeler agreed with free-speech arguments raised by the user groups, saying she is convinced that “there are no viable substitute platforms or apps for the Chinese-speaking and Chinese-American community.”
“WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” she said in the order.