The Trump administration is experiencing a bit of retaliation ever since filing an executive order which seeks to ban the use of Chinese-based apps WeChat and TikTok. A group of WeChat users is suing the administration, while ByteDance owned TikTok is planning its own lawsuit.
Over the weekend, a group of WeChat users confirmed its plan to sue the Trump administration over the banning of the app. The group, which has no affiliation with WeChat or its parent company Tencent, claims that the executive order violates users’ due process and free speech. The group feels the banning of WeChat is “unconstitutional”, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The group also claims that the order, which Trump signed on August 6th, primarily targets Chinese-Americans. WeChat is used by more than 1.5 billion users globally. The app is used for messaging, payments, shopping, and other transactions. 1.5 million estimated users are in the U.S.
According to the report, the lawsuit states: “It is the primary app Chinese-speakers in the U.S. use to participate in social life by connecting with loved ones, sharing special moments, arguing ideas, receiving up-to-the-minute news, and participating in political discussions and advocacy.” It suit also claims the app has “become essential to the conduct of daily life for its users, many of whom regularly spend hours each day on the app.”
Trump’s executive order will hereby ban any transaction related to WeChat next month. Alongside TikTok, Trump’s order has faced scrutiny not only for the banning itself but for how vague the order is. TikTok’s ban also restricts all transactions related to the app. On Saturday, TikTok confirmed it would be suing the Trump administration as the company claims to have been deprived of due process, as reported by The Verge.
Both apps have been accused of being security risks and as such, both companies have claimed the accusations are untrue. For TikTok, ByteDance has been in preliminary talks with companies such as Microsoft and Oracle for possible acquisitions to maintain use in the US and other regions around the world.