Judge temporarily blocks Trump`s WeChat ban
Published: 07:12 PM, 23 September 2020
A US judge, judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco, early Sunday temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's executive order requiring Apple and Google to remove the China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. owned messaging app WeChat from their app stores in the U.S. that was scheduled to begin Sunday (Sept. 20), The Wall Street Journal reported.
The U.S. WeChat Users Alliance filed the motion against the Trump administration in August.
The plaintiffs, including the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance (USWUA) and other app users allege Trump's directive is unconstitutional and violates free speech.
The judge 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 plaintiffs' evidence reflects that 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," Beeler wrote.
“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 wrote in the 22-page order.
"And, as the plaintiffs point out," Beeler wrote, "there are obvious alternatives to a complete ban, such as barring WeChat from government devices, as Australia has done, or taking other steps to address data security."
However, the WeChat will now be stayed nationwide as a result of Judge Beeler's order.