A lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco aims to block President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban WeChat in the U.S. due to national security concerns.
The lawsuit, filed by Chinese-American lawyers forming the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, claims that Trump’s “vaguely worded” order is unconstitutional and violates rights to free speech, Bloomberg reported.
The lawyers called out Trump’s order for not defining what transactions with WeChat will be prohibited, leaving U.S. companies unsure whether they need to make fundamental changes to their operations, as well as for not providing concrete evidence on how the messaging app is a threat to national security.
The Trump administration, however, is said to be reaching out to U.S. companies in private, to clarify that they will still be able to do business with WeChat in China, according to a separate Bloomberg report, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The administration has realized that an all-out ban against WeChat may have a devastating effect on U.S. industries such as technology, gaming, retail, and telecommunications, according to the sources. Apple is one of the companies that may be significantly affected by Trump’s order, as China accounts for about 20% of total iPhone shipments.
Digital Trends has reached out to WeChat for comments on the lawsuit, including the company’s latest action plan in dealing with Trump’s order to ban the app in the U.S. We will update this article as soon as we hear back.
The executive order, signed in early August, also targeted video-sharing app TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance.
Trump has since signed a new executive order that gives ByteDance until November 12 to sell the U.S. assets of TikTok, while also requiring the destruction of all user data acquired by TikTok and its predecessor Musical.ly.
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