The Department of Justice has asked a federal judge to allow the US government to bar Google and Apple from offering WeChat for download. The Justice Department said that the ban should be allowed with immediate effect while the case is underway. The effort to ban WeChat last week was interrupted after a California judge agreed to delay. The judged agreed on the move because of concerns that it could affect the First Amendment rights of the users. The Justice Department said that the app has allowed the Chinese government to accumulate personal data of Americans for its own interest. WeChat app is owned by tech giant Tencent.
The filing asked the court to put on hold a preliminary injunction issued by her earlier. The DoJ said that the injunction would undermine US President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban WeChat. The order was set to come into effect on Sunday. The order by the US Department of Commerce would also bar other US transactions with WeChat. The move would have apparently left the Tencent Holding’s app unusable in the United States. US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler has now responded by setting a hearing date on the motion on October 15. The US Department of Justice in its filing said that the judge’s order was in error to per unfettered use of WeChat. The Executive Branch has reached the conclusion that the app could be a threat to the foreign policy and national security of the United States.
Meanwhile, Tencent has proposed a mitigation proposal that has sought to develop a new version of the app for the United States. The new version will partner with a US cloud provider for data storage, deploy specific security measures, and will be managed by a US-based entity. Meanwhile, another popular Chinese app TikTok has requested the injunction. The short video sharing app requested for it after reports emerged that a temporary ban would lead to the loss of 90 per cent users of the app.