tech

WeChat judge says request to block Trump’s ban is now ‘Moot’

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler’s ruling on Friday comes after the Commerce Department barred some transactions over Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and prohibited new downloads and updates of the app.

WeChat
WeChat (YouTube)

A federal judge said a request by WeChat users to block President Donald Trump’s ban on the Chinese-owned messaging app is now “moot” and will no longer be considered.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler’s ruling on Friday comes after the Commerce Department barred some transactions over Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and prohibited new downloads and updates of the app. The judge said she is available to hear new requests from users, who have complained that Trump’s executive order would remove a vital channel for communicating with family and friends in China and the U.S.

The U.S. restrictions take effect on Sunday.

The administration has said the ban is driven by national security concerns about the Chinese government’s ability to access data through the app. In a Friday court filing, coming shortly before the judge ruled, U.S. lawyers cited an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Thursday which called Chinese plans for WeChat and other apps “much more sinister” than even Trump believed.

The case is U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump, 3:20-cv-5910, U.S. District Court, District of Northern California (San Francisco).

Written by Edvard Pettersson.