- WeChat Users Alliance, a nonprofit organization, filed a lawsuit on Friday in an attempt to thwart President Trump’s executive order to essentially ban the app, The Hill reported.
- Trump’s maneuver to block the Chinese messaging app is rooted in national security concerns, data collection worries, and foreign policy strain.
- The lawsuit filed by WeChat Users Alliance, amongst others, says the order “eviscerates an irreplaceable cultural bridge” and claims the maneuver is “unlawful and unconstitutional.”
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WeChat users aren’t going down without a fight.
President Trump initially issued the executive order on August 6th.
“Like TikTok, WeChat automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users,” the executive order stated. “This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”
“In addition, the application captures the personal and proprietary information of Chinese nationals visiting the United States, thereby allowing the Chinese Communist Party a mechanism for keeping tabs on Chinese citizens who may be enjoying the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives,” the order stated.
Unimpeded, the ban will begin on September 20th, 45 days after President Trump issued the order.
President Trump’s move to ban WeChat mirrors his actions toward TikTok, which announced on Saturday plans to sue the US government.
On August 6th, President Trump issued a similar order citing national security concerns, amongst others, as reasons for barring the Chinese app within US borders.
“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” the order stated. “This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
The lawsuit that WeChat Users Alliance filed on Friday claims that Trump’s order “eviscerates an irreplaceable cultural bridge” and says that the maneuver is “unlawful and unconstitutional.”
According to Tencent CEO, Pony Ma, WeChat currently has 1 billion monthly active users.