WeChat Users Group Sues Trump Administration Over 'Unconstitutional' Ban

wechat transparentA group of WeChat users has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in an effort to block an executive order that would ban the app in the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this month, President Trump signed two executive orders that would officially ban any U.S. transactions with ByteDance and Tencent, the Chinese companies that own TikTok and WeChat, respectively. The order will be enacted on September 20, but TikTok can avoid a ban if an American company can agree a deal to acquire its U.S. operations before that date.

Filed by the WeChat Users Alliance and several other plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the lawsuit claims the executive order to ban WeChat is unconstitutional and violates the right to free speech. It also claims the ban illegally targets Chinese-Americans who use WeChat to communicate with Chinese citizens. An attorney for the group, which is made up of people who depend on WeChat for personal and business purposes, says it is hoping that the Trump administration will have to clarify which WeChat transactions would be subject to the ban.

WeChat is extremely popular with Chinese mobile device users, essentially operating as its own platform on top of iOS and Android for many users, but the app is also widely used around the world and has over 1.2 billion monthly active users.

It's still unclear whether the ban applies to the WeChat app only in the United States or if it will result in the removal of the WeChat app from iPhones across the globe. At any rate, any ban would be bad news for Apple. In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a Weibo survey, 95 percent of the 1.2 million people who responded said they would switch to an Android smartphone over an ‌‌iPhone‌‌ rather than give up WeChat.

Over the weekend, TikTok also confirmed it plans to sue the Trump administration over the executive order, perhaps as early as Monday. ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, is believed to be in talks with Microsoft about the software giant acquiring the app's U.S. operations. Other companies including Twitter are also reportedly in talks with TikTok.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: WeChat

Top Rated Comments

ArPe Avatar
12 months ago
Banning an app that could be used as spyware by a foreign dictatorship isn’t unconstitutional. The Founding Fathers would have done the same thing if such technology existed in their time and the British Empire was spying on Americans to track dissidents.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wowotoe Avatar
12 months ago
how about Facebook, Google, and Youtube in China?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArPe Avatar
12 months ago

Aren't there many apps that "could be used as spyware"? Wouldn't even your operating system be able to potetnially be used as spyware?
This is a political mess that has definitely affected hundreds of thousand plain innocent people.

Reworked code would solve that, as will the paste notification in Apples current beta iOS14 that notifies a end user of the controversial behaviour of the current app.

What if the whole hype was around an US based company? What about Facebook that has repeatedly breached way more obvious ethical boundaries? Why weren't they forced to stop their activities? not sure I understand. Oh yes, because it is not a "foreign dictatorship", but just a rotten company inside your own country...?
There are serious legal repercussions of implanting spyware in an app and Apple already vets that for apps made in America for example. But when data flows through China then Apple and the US government are powerless. You, a person who had their data collected, are powerless and you cannot even try to sue a company in China. They will simply laugh at you.

if you are a dissident or refugee you also have to pray that a hitman isn’t sent to finish you.

Think of the people who are directly targeted. Many dissidents, defectors and refugees also have their families targeted by such regimes.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
repoman016 Avatar
12 months ago
Apple (bans) removes all vaping apps from the app store and nobody bats an eye. trump wants to remove spyware apps from the chinese government and everyone loses their mind!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OlliFlamme Avatar
12 months ago

Banning an app that could be used as spyware by a foreign dictatorship isn’t unconstitutional. The Founding Fathers would have done the same thing if such technology existed in their time and the British Empire was spying on Americans to track dissidents.
Aren't there many apps that "could be used as spyware"? Wouldn't even your operating system be able to potetnially be used as spyware?
This is a political mess that has definitely affected hundreds of thousand plain innocent people.

Reworked code would solve that, as will the paste notification in Apples current beta iOS14 that notifies a end user of the controversial behaviour of the current app.

What if the whole hype was around an US based company? What about Facebook that has repeatedly breached way more obvious ethical boundaries? Why weren't they forced to stop their activities? not sure I understand. Oh yes, because it is not a "foreign dictatorship", but just a rotten company inside your own country...?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Krizoitz Avatar
12 months ago

Banning an app that could be used as spyware by a foreign dictatorship isn’t unconstitutional. The Founding Fathers would have done the same thing if such technology existed in their time and the British Empire was spying on Americans to track dissidents.
Any application CAN be used as spyware. Banning based on that reason means banning all apps, and all network connected computers for that matter.

Further, your knowledge of history is seriously lacking if you believe the Founding Fathers would ban something based merely on theoretical potential for abuse.

Now if there is actually evidence the app is being used for spying the. You might have a case, but right now there is no evidence of that. Further, many apps can and do legally gather information on people, heck it’s how Facebook and Google keep the lights on. It’s what store discount cards are all about. Credit card companies have done it for decades. Gathering information, especially with consent isn’t necessarily illegal or “spying”.

Is it possible China is leveraging these apps to illegally surveil people in the US? Yes.
Is there reason to be concerned about apps like TikTok? Sure.
Should Trump or any President be able to unilaterally ban an app without legal or judicial process? Absolutely not.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...