Tencent says WeChat will struggle to attract new US users while White House, courts spar over ban

Tencent says WeChat will struggle to attract new US users while White House, courts spar over ban

FILE PHOTO: Illustration picture of WeChat app with U.S. and China flags
FILE PHOTO: The messenger app WeChat is seen among US and China flags in this illustration picture taken Aug 7, 2020. (REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo)

HONG KONG: Chinese social media leader Tencent Holdings has said its WeChat may not be able to win new users in the United States while the White House challenges a court ruling preventing a ban on the messaging app.

Tencent, in a statement filed at Hong Kong's stock exchange late on Sunday (Sep 20), said it has been evaluating the potential impact of a ban since the US Department of Commerce on Friday issued an order to block WeChat downloads on national security grounds.

It also said routine updates of the app for existing US users may be negatively affected should Apple and Google remove WeChat from their stores.

WeChat has a relatively small user base in the United States compared with in China, where the app is ubiquitous.

On Sunday, US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said a challenge to the proposed ban has "shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim" so "the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs' favour".

Tencent, which has denied being a security risk, said it has engaged and will continue to engage in discussions with the US government and other stakeholders to resolve the matter.

Source: Reuters/kv

Bookmark