Source: Sina Technology
The department of justice today filed a motion in the us district court for the northern district of California asking trial judge Laurel Beeler to lift a preliminary injunction that would allow the us government to remove and block WeChat apps from apple and Google stores.
The Commerce Department on Friday (September 18) issued a directive to remove WeChat from the apple and Google app stores starting at midnight local time on Sunday (September 20), and to ban WeChat payments in the United States, among other measures. The us Commerce Department issued detailed rules on banning WeChat transactions in accordance with the executive order issued on August 6 at the request of trump.
However, Chinese americans had spontaneously formed the WeChat user association of the United States (hereinafter referred to as the micro federation), and filed a lawsuit against the President and the secretary of commerce in the United States district court for the northern district of California over the microenvelope killing. Following the release of the Commerce Department document, amway’s lawyers applied for an emergency hearing and successfully obtained a judge’s preliminary injunction on Saturday (September 19), preventing the Commerce Department from enforcing the WeChat ban. The justice department, which represents the defendants, has previously issued a statement clarifying that U.S. users are not legally liable for continuing to use WeChat.
A week later, the justice department today filed another petition to lift the preliminary injunction in the hope of continuing the ban on WeChat in the us market. In its motion, the justice department said the judge’s injunction was a mistake, noting that the executive branch had determined that WeChat posed a threat to national security and foreign policy. The Justice Department is hoping to fast-track a request for judge Buhler’s response by October 1. A spokesman for the association, wu shengyang’s lawyer, replied that they would respond to the justice department’s motion as soon as possible and reengage in a hearing debate with the U.S. department of justice to defend the legal rights of Chinese to use WeChat.
To buttress its case, the department of justice released a 37-page Commerce Department memo on September 17 that referred to WeChat mobile phones and the transmission of sensitive personal data about American users, stored in data centers in China and Canada. In addition, the justice department submitted another classified document to the court, which listed the national intelligence agency’s assessment of the threat posed by WeChat.
The association explained that it had anticipated the justice Department’s motion and was ready to argue again with the Justice Department in court. If Judge Buhler refuses to lift the preliminary injunction, the Justice Department will appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but no new evidence can be presented during the appeal process. The group also said it had raised more than $1 million by the afternoon of Sept. 21, enough to pay off legal fees for August and September, so it has temporarily stopped accepting donations.
WeChat has 10 million users in the us, but its core users are more than 5 million Chinese. Like Line, which is used by Japanese americans, and Kakaotalk, which is used by Korean americans, WeChat is an indispensable communication tool for Chinese americans. Chinese americans not only use WeChat to get information and contact business, but also use WeChat and to keep in touch with friends and relatives in China. Therefore, THE American Micro Blog association sued the President of the United States for violating the freedom of speech of Chinese people, arguing that the ban constituted discrimination against the Chinese community.
But if, at the request of the doj, the judge lifts the preliminary injunction, the Commerce Department could continue to enforce the WeChat block. This means that users in the us will not be able to download WeChat from apple and Google stores, those who have downloaded it will not be able to get future updates, and will not be able to continue using features such as WeChat payments in the us.
But it’s important to note that the ban is limited to the U.S. market, leaving other markets unaffected. The ban is limited to distribution, allowing us users to continue to use WeChat on their phones, but without the payment feature. The ban made no mention of Tencent products such as WeChat for enterprises or QQ, which hastily renamed WeChat for enterprises as WeCom, apparently to avoid “accidental killing” by the us government.
Us users can continue to use the WeChat as long as they don’t change their phone. But there will be no WeChats in apple and Google stores in the United States; Later updates to WeChat will also be unavailable to us users. If you change your phone, there are two cases. Android users are relatively simple, they don’t need to rely on Google store, they just go to WeChat official website to download APK and install it by themselves.
Apple users can register their domestic apple ID, switch to apple’s China app store, and download the WeChat app. But many Chinese have lived in the United States for years without a domestic cellphone number, Alipay or bank card. Moreover, many old Chinese are not familiar with smart phone operation, so whether they can register for domestic ID is a problem.