A group of users of the WeChat app are suing the United States government for an order recently signed by President Donald Trump. The community wants to prevent the platform from doing business in the country, which means banning the service in the region – the same measure taken against Chinese developer ByteDance and the social network TikTok.
According to The Wall Street Journal, those responsible for the lawsuit argue that the ban is unconstitutional and threatens freedom of expression. After all, the application is widely used by the Chinese community that resides in the USA, both for communication with those in other regions and for payments, news and other services. They are not linked to the Tencent company or any other organization.
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The text of the lawsuit states that WeChat “is the primary app that Chinese speakers in the U.S. use to participate in social life by connecting with loved ones, sharing special moments, debating ideas, receiving news on the spot and participating in political discussions ( …) making it essential for the daily life of its users, many of whom regularly spend hours on the app every day “.
According to one of the lawyers who defends the group of users, the action has the final objective of achieving the suspension of the ban. However, if that is not possible, the idea is to force the Trump administration to detail exactly what it means by “banning transactions” involving WeChat.
The US government’s deadline for Tencent and ByteDance to negotiate the global or regional divisions of their applications ends in September. There is no indication that WeChat will be sold and US companies have already warned the government not to go ahead with the measure. In the case of TikTok, which has several interested giants, including Microsoft, Twitter and Oracle.