Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s WeChat Ban at Eleventh Hour

September 21st, 2020 6:04 PM

Just hours before President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the WeChat app was to go into effect, a federal judge blocked it.

On Sunday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler temporarily blocked Trump’s ban of the Chinese-owned messaging app, citing a possible First Amendment violation. 

Judge Beeler said in her decision that the WeChat users who filed the lawsuit “have shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor." The ban would have gone into effect at 11:59 PM Sunday evening if Judge Beeler had not blocked it.

The decision goes on to say, “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.”

WeChat “has 19 million regular users in the U.S. and more than 1.2 billion users world-wide, enables users to send messages, make phone calls and transfer money,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Trump’s executive order banning WeChat, issued on August 6, stated “To protect our Nation, I took action to address the threat posed by one mobile application, TikTok.  Further action is needed to address a similar threat posed by another mobile application, WeChat.” 

At the time of writing, the WeChat app is still available in the App store 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representative and demand that WeChat provide transparency: Companies need to design open systems so that they can be held accountable, while giving weight to privacy concerns. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form and help us hold Big Tech accountable