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The U.S. government says the next WeChat ban will not target users



The WeChat app from Tencent Holdings Ltd. is shown on the App Store on a smartphone in a concerted photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia on Friday, August 7, 2020.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.S. ban on the Chinese WeChat app will not target people who use the app to communicate, a government court said Wednesday.

President Donald Trump issued orders on August 6 targeting WeChat and TikTok as alleged national security threats and on September 20 imposed a deadline for the Commerce Department to draft specific measures to block “transactions. “with Chinese application owners.

The US WeChat Users Alliance, a nonprofit, and several people who say they trust the app to work, worship and keep in touch with relatives in China have demanded the arrest of the ban in federal court. California. The lawsuit says the ban violates the freedom of speech of its American users, the free exercise of religion and other constitutional rights.

WeChat users, who say they are not affiliated with WeChat or its parent company, Tencent, are seeking a court order against the order and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

WeChat users in the United States rely on the app to chat with friends, family, and co-workers in China, where the messaging, payments, and social networking app is widely used. It has several million users in the US

The Justice Department said in Wednesday̵

7;s filing that the Commerce Department “does not intend to take action against individuals or groups whose only connection to WeChat is their use or download of the app to transmit information. personal or commercial between users “. He added that these users would not be exposed to “criminal or civil liability”.

The government filing said using and downloading the app to communicate will not be a prohibited transaction, although the ban may “directly or indirectly affect” the app’s messages.

The Justice Department’s request said that these “guarantees largely respond” to the concerns raised by the plaintiffs who applied for a court order.

WeChat users ’lead attorney Michael Bien said in an interview that the plaintiffs will file a response Wednesday later.


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