Judge halts Trump administration's WeChat ban

Joanna Estrada
September 21, 2020

ByteDance was pressured into a deal for TikTok when Trump threatened to ban the app in the USA over national security concerns.

However, hours before the ban was set to come into effect, US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the Northern California District Court issued an injunction on Sunday blocking the removal, saying that the move raised "serious questions" about free speech.

President Trump's support for the deal comes days after his administration said it would bar people in the USA from downloading TikTok through any app store from Sunday.

In a tweet Saturday, TikTok confirmed that Oracle will become the "trusted technology provider" for the app, and said it's also working on a commercial partnership with Walmart.

Hacktivist group Anonymous has shared their sentiments regarding the issue, agreeing with the reports, and even calling the short-video app as a "Chinese malware", but the company has remained adamant that they haven't stolen or used any information against TikTok users in the United States.

Oracle said that all TikTok technology will be in possession of TikTok Global, which will "comply with US laws and privacy regulations".

"This technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom's recent success in moving a large portion of its video conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud", Oracle Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison said in a statement.

The news release includes a quote from Ellison that takes a swipe at Oracle's larger cloud rivals, saying that "TikTok picked Oracle's new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it's much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first-generation technology now offered by all the other major cloud providers". But on this record - while the government has established that China's activities raise significant national- security concerns - it has put in scant little evidence that its effective ban of WeChat for all U.S. users addresses those concerns.

The president had ordered the app to be banned in the USA, citing national security concerns.

"I approve the deal in concept", he told reporters. It will have nothing to do with China.

"It'll be totally secure, that'll be part of the deal".

Trump approved the deal for the new entity that will be based in the United States.

U.S. officials have described Washington's crackdown as essential to safeguard against potential Chinese espionage through the platforms.

The deal will lead to the creation of a new company, headquartered in Texas, that will have "nothing to do with China" but will still be called TikTok, according to the president.

It is believed that the new deal between Oracle, Walmart, and ByteDance will produce 25,000 new American jobs while bringing in close to $5 billion in taxes to the U.Ss treasury.

TikTok is facing a USA ban if a deal is not reached. 27 as a deal draws closer.

The China-owned app will face a "real shutdown" after November 12 in the absence of a deal, according to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

The restrictions are aimed at business-to-business transactions with WeChat and Tencent and will in the first instance affect service providers in the USA that maintain the functionality of the app.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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