As of Sunday, September 20, 2020, the Chinese-Owned messaging application and payment platform “WeChat” will no longer be available for users in the United States. President Donald Trump announced last September 18 that the United States will permanently ban the app for national security reasons.
“We are so disappointed, not just because he’s making this hateful language as calling it [the coronavirus] the Chinese flu or the China virus,” said Wei Chen, president of Asian Americans United, a Philadelphia organization focused on fighting discrimination against the Asian community, “but banning WeChat is a hateful action he takes, trying to attack Chinese or China.”
WeChat has over one billion monthly active users worldwide. In the US, this is mostly being used by Chinese residents to stay connected with their family and friends. It is also being used to buy goods and send money to China. Just like any other messaging platform, users can send photos, videos and voice messages.
Our medium of communication has significantly evolved since the past decades. People used to communicate via Telegram and Letters in the 1960s to 70s, telephones in the 1980, email and text messaging in the 1990s to 2000s and now, we have messaging platforms which can be used for free to communicate with other people. All you need to do is just download the messaging app from Google Play Store or app store, sign up/register and you can already start using it. Very convenient, right?
Also, with the use of messaging platforms, businesses can now easily reach out to people to promote their products, services and brands. Sometimes, they are using marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Biglinker and Marketo to target a larger number of people and to save time. Payment services are also now available in some messaging platforms which allows customers to pay for any purchases made.
Since WeChat is the primary messaging platform being used by Chinese residents to communicate with their families abroad and connect with businesses in China, President Trump’s order to ban the platform will surely have a negative impact on them and of course, to the economy.
WeChat spokesperson said “WeChat was designed to serve international users outside of mainland China and has always incorporated the highest standards of user privacy and data security,” the spokesperson added in a statement. “Following the initial executive order on August 6 we have engaged in extensive discussions with the U.S. government, and have put forward a comprehensive proposal to address its concerns.”