Plugged

Judge refuses to overturn block on WeChat ban

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Nov 1, 2020

An imminent U.S. ban on WeChat, the Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app, was scheduled for September 20, after President Trump’s Administration issued an executive order in August. This ban however, was blocked by the U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, who stated that the Commerce Department “put in scant little evidence” in support of the argument saying that this app is a threat to national security.

 

This is very reminiscent of the whole TikTok saga, where ultimately, the ban on the app was blocked by a judge. Since the ruling, the Department of Justice has sought to overturn it with new evidence, though Judge Beller has insisted on dismissing the request, claiming that this was not enough to change her position and decision. Judge Beeler writes: “The record does not support the conclusion that the government has ‘narrowly tailored’ the prohibited transactions to protect its national-security interests […] the evidence supports the conclusion that the restrictions ‘burden substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government’s legitimate interests.’”

 

Though the ruling has been made, the Justice Department is insisting and adamant on pursuing the ban of the Chinese instant messaging app. We will see how this decision will unfold in the coming weeks.