Judge Blocks WeChat Download Ban - TheStreet

WeChat Survives U.S. Download Ban, for Now

Judge orders temporary injunction on the side of app's users.
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The popular Chinese messaging and payments app WeChat looks like it might still be available in the U.S. beyond Sunday night, after all.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of San Francisco stopped the Trump administration from forcing Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report and Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Report to take the Tencent Holdings' messaging app offline for downloading by late Sunday, according to a report from Reuters. 

The decision -- which also blocks other restrictions imposed by the U.S. government on the app -- follows the U.S. Commerce Department's move on Friday to virtually eliminate access to the application and impair its ability to function, in part by prohibiting companies from distributing or maintaining it and blocking financial transactions over the app in the U.S. 

The Commerce Department's actions also had included blocks on the popular TikTok app.

But according to the Reuters' report, Judge Beeler said in her temporary injunction that the WeChat users who had filed a lawsuit against the U.S.' actions, “have shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor.”

The order also stated that the Commerce Department's orders “burden substantially more speech than is necessary to serve the government’s significant interest in national security, especially given the lack of substitute channels for communication.”

Tencent declined to comment on the order on Sunday to TheStreet

But the Justice Department maintains that by blocking the U.S.' prohibitions on WeChat, the judge's order would “frustrate and displace the president’s determination of how best to address threats to national security,” according to Reuters.

The U.S. block on WeChat was meant to "safeguard" national security, said the Commerce Department on Friday, adding that "The Chinese Communist Party ... has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S."