Trump Backs Off TikTok Ban, Judge Blocks WeChat Ban

Commerce Dept prepared for 'long legal battle' against WeChat

The Trump adminstration’s plan to ban two Chinese-owned apps has been put on hold. President Trump originally intended to outlaw both WeChat and TikTok on Sunday, but in the end neither was hit.

Trump initially conditioned TikTok’s survival on ByteDance selling the app to Microsoft, with the understanding that the US government would keep most of the money. ByteDance rejected this deal, and later made a deal with Oracle.

President Trump says the TikTok plan has “his blessing,” which would see Oracle and Walmart forming a new US-based business that would run TikTok, and which ByteDance would retain majority ownership in.

The WeChat ban was meant to remain in place, but US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler temporarily halted the ban. The app remains available but the US Commerce Department says it intends to make it less functional for US users.

The Commerce Department says they are preparing for a “long legal battle” in trying to ban WeChat. Though there is no evidence of wrong-doing, the administration has argued that WeChat’s very status as a Chinese application makes it a national security risk.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.