Trump Administration Loses on Appeal Over WeChat Ban

The Trump administrations quest to ban WeChat was dealt another blow. After appealing the decision, the appeals court upheld the lower courts decision.

Donald Bringer of Death Trump has been dealt another setback. Back in September, WeChat scored a major victory in court when a judge blocked the ban of the communications platform.

Earlier this month, the Trump Administration appealed the decision, trying to reverse the lower court decision. From the New York Times:

The federal government on Friday appealed a judge’s ruling that prevented the Trump administration from imposing a ban on WeChat, the popular Chinese-owned messaging app.

The Justice Department said in a short filing that it was appealing a preliminary injunction issued by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of U.S. District Court for the North District of California. Mollie Timmons, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, declined to comment further. The appeal was made to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The decision to appeal the preliminary injunction blocking the ban escalates the battle over the future of WeChat, owned by the Chinese company Tencent Holdings. Officials in Washington have increasingly looked to stop people in the United States from using Chinese-owned apps like WeChat and TikTok, and have worked to banish Chinese telecommunications products from American networks.

Now, we are learning that the appeal has failed. The judges have ruled that the government has not demonstrated sufficient evidence that the lack of a ban would cause irreparable injury. From the Washington Times:

The Trump administration lost an appeal of a federal judge’s injunction that stopped the federal government’s ban of WeChat, a social messaging app owned by the Chinese company Tencent.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order saying the Trump administration had “not demonstrated that they will suffer an imminent, irreparable injury” while the litigation matures.

The Department of Commerce sought to ban all U.S. transactions with WeChat in September, but federal Judge Laurel Beeler granted a nationwide injunction against President Trump’s order authorizing the ban.

The efforts to ban the app came about after a failed Trump rally in Tulsa that was mired with empty seats and staff infections. Several users of TikTok apparently banded together to buy as many tickets as possible to the rally only to not show up after. When the attendance was turning out to be low, staff ushers the few people in the overflow area to come into the arena. This in an effort to fill as many seats as possible. The images that came out of the rally was seen as a major blow to Trump’s image especially given how he often tries to brag and exaggerate about crowd sizes.

What followed was an effort by Trump to ban TikTok and WeChat. The moves is seen as revenge for what happened in Tulsa. Trump, meanwhile, is trying to frame this effort as protecting national security.

Critics note that a number of people use WeChat to communicate with relatives overseas. Some of those critics worry that by cutting off WeChat, the communications line between relatives would also be severed.

The next probable step is that the Trump administration will appeal this to the Supreme Court. That’s been the subject of huge controversy lately given that Trump successfully nominated another Conservative judge. The move further packs the courthouse with judges seen as likely to support the Republican/Trump agenda. So, we’ll have to see if that has an impact on things with respect to this case.

Still, the current ruling is certainly a setback for the Trump administration. For now, people in the US are still free to use the application. A good idea would be to find alternative communication methods in the event the US Supreme court decides to pander to Trumps interests. There is still time to do so if you fear a worst case scenario.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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