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What is WeChat and why is Trump targeting it?

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August 07, 2020 at 08:23AM

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The Chinese social media platform subject to a banning order by the US president

On Friday, Donald Trump issued twin executive orders that would ban any US transactions with the Chinese companies that own TikTok and WeChat, saying the US must take “aggressive action” in the interest of national security. TikTok, a video-sharing app, has come under fire from US lawmakers and the Trump administration over national security concerns. But what is WeChat?

WeChat is an immensely popular and all-encompassing Chinese social media platform. In 2018, it surpassed 1 billion users worldwide. Within China people use WeChat for an endless list of services including communication, e-payments, banking, ride-hailing and online shopping, all integrated directly into the service. During the pandemic, it also runs a large portion of the various government-mandated health code apps that designate people as being under quarantine or allowed to travel.

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