The US Department of Commerce on Friday announced that TikTok and WeChat’s transactions in the country had been banned effective Sunday. This was followed by a surge in downloads for both apps. However, the companies seem to have gotten a reprieve from the ban from the most unlikely sources.
US President Donald Trump is reported to have approved of the deal between TikTok and Oracle, prompting a week delay of the ban by the Department of Commerce. A judge in California also issued a preliminary injunction against WeChat’s ban, saying the app’s users showed “serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor.”
Last Monday, TikTok and Oracle announced a partnership deal that will see the Chinese app’s operations managed by the software company in the US. TikTok had been in talks with Microsoft for a while with the latter expressing interest in buying the short video making app in part or in whole. The deal, however, went south after TikTok announced that it had instead, settled on a partnership deal, as opposed to a sales deal, with Oracle.
Oracle is expected to run TikTok’s operations in the US using its own technology and will host user’s data with full access to backend operations.
As for WeChat, a group of users earlier went to court to petition the government against the ban. The judge said that this showed “serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim.” Beeler wrote that the plaintiffs’ “evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat.”
Beeler’s preliminary injunction blocked the ban from the department of Commerce giving WeChat a reprieve. Meanwhile, TikTok still has another week before the same department comes to a conclusion.