Wednesday, 28 October 2020 11:34

Justice department bid to reinstate WeChat ban dismissed by court Featured

Justice department bid to reinstate WeChat ban dismissed by court Pixabay

An appeals court in the US has dismissed a request from the Department of Justice that it be allowed to institute an immediate ban on Apple and Google offering the WeChat app for download in their respective mobile app stores.

Reuters reported that a panel of three judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the government had not shown it would “suffer an imminent, irreparable injury during the pendency of this appeal, which is being expedited".

On Friday, a San Francisco judge turned down a plea from the Justice Department to reverse her decision on the WeChat ban.

Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler had in September blocked the government from implementing a decision to make it mandatory for Apple and Google to remove the WeChat application from their respective app stores.

The order was made in response to a suit filed by the WeChat Users Alliance.

On 18 September, the US Department of Commerce announced that fresh downloads of WeChat and TikTok, both apps made by Chinese companies, would be banned from midnight that day. US President Donald Trump issued executive orders banning the apps on 6 August.

The department claimed that use of the apps would be a threat to US national security.

But the ban on TikTok was postponed after Trump gave his approval to a deal by Oracle to take a share in TikTok's American operations. Under the plan, Oracle will get a 12.5% stake in TikTok's global business and provide cloud services while retailer Walmart is also to take a stake.

The WeChat case will next be heard only in January 2021.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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