On Friday, it looked like the US was ready to, two popular China-based apps that the Trump administration warned posed security threats to American users. The Commerce Department issued an order that would have prohibited new downloads as of Sunday. And on Saturday WeChat in particular saw a sharp uptick in new installs in the US, according to analytics platform Sensor Tower, with an 800 percent week-over-week increase.
But as of Sunday afternoon, each has received a reprieve from a US ban, at least temporarily.he had given a deal between TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart his “blessing,” prompting a one-week delay from the Commerce Department on TikTok’s ban. And a judge in California blocking the administration’s WeChat ban.
The TikTok deal appears to be a far cry from thefor a full sale of TikTok’s US operations. Oracle becomes a “trusted tech partner,” and will host all US user data, securing “associated computer systems.” Both Oracle and Walmart will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20 percent cumulative stake in the new company, TikTok Global, according to TikTok.
The deal has yet to be finalized, and some of the details remained a bit fuzzy as of Sunday morning. While all parties said the new company would be headquartered in the US and bring 25,000 jobs, the president’s statement that the deal included a $5 billion donation toward US education. And of course, the Chinese government must still sign off on any agreement. But for now, the Commerce Department has until September 27th.
For WeChat, the future in the US is even more uncertain. Judge Laurel Beelerthat an August showed “serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim.” Beeler wrote that the plaintiffs’ “evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat.”
Beeler added that while the US government had identified “significant” threats to national security, there was “scant little evidence that its effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”
The Commerce Department had not commented on Judge Beeler’s order as of Sunday afternoon.