National Security

Biden officials ask court to hit pause on Trump’s move to ban WeChat

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The Biden administration on Thursday asked a federal court to hit pause on a case regarding former President Trump’s efforts to ban Chinese social media site WeChat.

Administration officials told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that they needed time to review the proposed ban. The request comes just a day after a similar filing in a case affecting TikTok.

“As the Biden Administration has taken office, the Department of Commerce has begun a review of certain recently issued agency actions, including the Secretary’s prohibitions regarding the WeChat mobile application at issue in this appeal,” Thursday’s filing reads. 

“In relation to those prohibitions, the Department plans to conduct an evaluation of the underlying record justifying those prohibitions.”

The Trump administration moved to ban WeChat and TikTok, the popular short video app, last fall, arguing that the apps posed national security risks because user data could be shared with the Chinese government.

Both companies have denied that they would ever provide American user data to Beijing.

A federal magistrate in San Francisco temporarily blocked the WeChat ban soon after it was announced over “serious” First Amendment concerns.

In Thursday’s filing, the Biden administration said it “remains committed to a robust defense of national security as well as ensuring the viability of our economy and preserving individual rights and data privacy.”

Tags Beijing China Donald Trump National security San Francisco social media apps tiktok WeChat

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