The Stream

Why is China’s WeChat now in Trump’s sights?

The Stream discusses the impact a ban could have on about 19 million US users of ‘super app’.

On Wednesday, August 26 at 19:30 GMT: 
Millions of people in the United States who rely on the hugely popular Chinese app WeChat to contact family, friends and business associates could soon find their screens going dark.  

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning WeChat, as well as another popular Chinese app TikTok, calling them threats to national security.

With more than one billion users, the so-called ‘super app’ is an integral part of life in China. Far from a typical social media platform, users strike business deals, transfer funds, shop, bank and much more.

In the US, the app has fewer features but is still highly popular with Chinese-Americans and the Chinese diaspora. Major firms such as Walmart, Starbucks and Nike use WeChat to reach customers in China and, while the full details of the executive order are unclear, analysts say it could lose US companies significant revenue.  

In this episode of The Stream, we ask a panel of experts what impact a ban could have on family relationships, trade and China-US relations. 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 
Kinling Lo, @kinlinglo
China Reporter, South China Morning Post

Times Wang, @timeswang
Lawyer and Writer

Yaqiu Wang, @Yaqiu
China Researcher, Human Rights Watch

Read more: 
Explaining WeChat: China’s super app Donald Trump wants banned – South China Morning Post
WeChat, TikTok ban could have widest impact of Trump China salvos – Al Jazeera