Trump’s WeChat Ban Will Harm Chinese American
WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. First released in 2011, it became the world’s largest standalone mobile app in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users. WeChat has been described as China’s “app for everything” and a “super app” because of its wide range of functions.
Last Friday, US President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to issue two executive orders and ban US residents from doing any business with WeChat, along with TikTok, from September 15 is much more significant.
The billion-user app is primarily a social networking platform but can be used for a host of daily activities like chatting, shopping, gaming and even dating.
The human impact is likely to be much larger. In banning WeChat, the White House effectively cuts off the only widely used form of communication available to 6 million people of Chinese background in the US and their families in China. So integral is the app that Chinese students will reconsider their desire to study in the US and businesses will reassess their employees’ futures in America.