U.S. government appeals judge’s ruling to block WeChat app store ban

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday said it was appealing a judge’s decision to block the government from barring Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google from offering Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for download in U.S. app stores.

The government said it was appealing the Sept. 19 preliminary junction issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The injunction blocked the U.S. Commerce Department order, which would also bar other U.S. transactions with Tencent Holding’s <0700.HK> WeChat, potentially making the app unusable in the United States.

A U.S. spokesman for Tencent did not immediately comment.

The Justice Department said earlier that Beeler’s order was in error and “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

Read More

WeChat sets the record straight for its 690,000 Aussie users

wechat.jpg

The Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media has been tasked with probing the risk posed to the nation’s democracy by foreign interference through social media.

Twitter, Google, Tiktok, and Facebook have previously made submissions to the inquiry, with the plan for representatives from each of the social media platforms to eventually face the committee.

TikTok was probed on Friday, using its time to clarify data protection rules, its plans to prevent distressing videos from being viewed on its platform, and how it wasn’t asked to provide assistance to a government investigation, among other things. Facebook was due to appear alongside TikTok, but blamed a scheduling issue for pulling out.

The latest submission [PDF] to the committee as part of its inquiry comes from the Middle Kingdom, by way of popular chat app WeChat.

WeChat is owned and operated by WeChat International Pte Ltd, an entity incorporated in Singapore.

Read More

Justice Department seeks immediate ban on WeChat in US

Updated

Read More

Chevron asks employees to delete WeChat after U.S. ban

(Reuters) – U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp <CVX.N> has asked employees globally to delete Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat from their work phones, following the Trump administration’s executive order to ban the social media app, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

A U.S. judge on Sunday blocked a government order requiring Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Alphabet Inc’s Google <GOOGL.O> to remove WeChat for downloads on national security grounds.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday it would challenge the order.

WeChat is an all-in-one mobile app that combines messaging, social media, payment functions and other services and boasts more than a billion users globally.

Chevron, in a staff email, identified WeChat as a “non-compliant application” and asked those with the app on their work handsets to delete it before Sept. 27 or face disconnection from the company’s network, according to the Bloomberg report.

Chevron and Tencent, which has denied its apps pose

Read More

Chevron Asks Global Employees to Delete WeChat After Trump Ban

(Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp. has asked its global employees to remove Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat from their work phones, making it one of the first U.S. companies to heed the Trump administration’s executive order banning the Chinese social app on alleged national security risks.



a screenshot of a cellphone: The Tencent Holdings Ltd. WeChat app is displayed in the App Store on a smartphone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting U.S. residents from doing business with the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning 45 days from now, citing the national security risk of leaving Americans' personal data exposed.


© Bloomberg
The Tencent Holdings Ltd. WeChat app is displayed in the App Store on a smartphone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting U.S. residents from doing business with the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning 45 days from now, citing the national security risk of leaving Americans’ personal data exposed.

The American oil giant identified WeChat as a “non-compliant application” in a staff email, asking those who installed the app on their work handsets to delete it within days — or they will be disconnected from the

Read More

Chinese tech giant Tencent’s WeChat app sees downloads surge before U.S. ban

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese tech giant Tencent’s WeChat messaging app has seen a surge in downloads in the United States since Friday after Washington confirmed it would push ahead with a planned ban of the app, data showed on Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued an order requiring Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to remove WeChat for downloads on national security grounds, but a U.S. judge blocked the move on Sunday. The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday it will challenge the order.

WeChat was installed about 54,000 times between Friday and Saturday, 28 times the 1,900 downloads seen in the same two-day period a week before, according to data analytics firm Sensor Tower. It said WeCom, an office collaboration app, also saw a jump in downloads in the United States over that period.

The United States has launched a series of measures in recent months cracking

Read More

Judge agrees to delay US government restrictions on WeChat

A federal judge has approved a request from a group of WeChat users to delay looming U.S. government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use

NEW YORK — A judge has approved a request from a group of U.S. WeChat users to delay looming federal government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use.

In a ruling dated Saturday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California said the government’s actions would affect users’ First Amendment rights, as an effective ban on the app would remove their platform for communication.

WeChat is a messaging-focused app popular with many Chinese-speaking Americans that serves as a lifeline to friends, family, customers and business contacts in China. It’s owned by Chinese tech

Read More

Judge Agrees to Delay US Government Restrictions on WeChat | Business News

By STAN CHOE, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has approved a request from a group of U.S. WeChat users to delay looming federal government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use.

In a ruling dated Saturday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California said the government’s actions would affect users’ First Amendment rights, as an effective ban on the app would remove their platform for communication.

WeChat is a messaging-focused app popular with many Chinese-speaking Americans that serves as a lifeline to friends, family, customers and business contacts in China. It’s owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent.

The group of WeChat users requested an injunction after the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it would bar WeChat from U.S. app stores and keep it from accessing essential internet services in the country beginning Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

The Trump administration has targeted WeChat

Read More

Trump’s ban on WeChat put on hold by judge

gettyimages-12280027761

WeChat ban temporarily halted by judge’s order.


Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A US judge early Sunday temporarily blocked a Trump administration order requiring Apple and Google to remove the Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat from their app stores.

US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco said in an order 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.”

The ruling came two days after the Trump administration announced that downloads of WeChat and fellow Chinese-owned app TikTok would be prohibited in the US after Sunday night. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the bans were designed to protect American consumers and businesses from “the threats of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Read More

Judge blocks US ban on WeChat that was set to go into effect today

A judge in California has blocked the Commerce Department’s ban on new downloads of China-based messaging app WeChat, Reuters reported Sunday. US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said in her order that WeChat users showed “serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor.”

On Friday, the Commerce Department outlined how the bans on WeChat and TikTok that President Trump had been threatening for months would work: Beginning today at midnight, US users would not be able to download the apps from Apple and Google’s app stores. A tentative agreement appeared to be reached Saturday for a new TikTok entity, TikTok Global, part of a partnership with Oracle and Walmart, so the Commerce Department postponed the TikTok ban until September 27th. “I have given the deal my blessing,” the president said.

A group of WeChat users filed a lawsuit last

Read More