October 25. According to a Reuters report in San Francisco on October 23, a judge in San Francisco, the United States, rejected the request of the Department of Justice today. The ministry asked her to overturn a ruling that allowed Apple and Google to continue to provide WeChat download services.
US District Judge Laurel Biller said that the government’s new evidence has not changed her view of this Tencent app. The Ministry of Justice believes that WeChat, like Chinese video application TikTok, threatens the national security of the United States.
WeChat has 19 million average daily active users in the United States. It is popular among Chinese students, Americans living in China, and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China. In China, this software (ie WeChat) is an important part of many people’s daily lives, with more than 1 billion users.
According to reports, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against Biller’s decision, but the court is unlikely to make a ruling before December.
In a lawsuit filed by WeChat users, Biller in September obstructed the US Department of Commerce’s order that will take effect on September 20, which requires WeChat to be removed from the US App Store. This order also prohibits other transactions between US companies and WeChat, which may render WeChat unavailable in the United States.
Biller said the evidence “supports the conclusion that the burden of restrictions on speech far exceeds what is necessary to advance the legitimate interests of the government.”
According to the report, WeChat users stated that the government is “imposing an unprecedented ban on a purely social platform” and that the harm of Americans using WeChat is entirely “speculation.”
In a similar lawsuit, an appeals court in the United States agreed to expedite the government’s appeal against a ruling that prevented the government from banning the download of Chinese short video sharing app TikTok from the US app store.