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1 hour ago, 889 said:

U.S. companies are paranoid about observing these sorts of restrictions. They don't want to be accused of helping others to evade the restrictions. I don't know how Google will in fact handle this, but I wouldn't be surprised if they just wash their hands of the problem and remove the apps from Play Store worldwide.


I doubt that - country-specific app store restrictions are an increasingly common thing and they don't want to establish the precedent that one country can force them to ban an app in another country; damage gets a lot more widespread that way.


More generally, for Android users at least WeChat is a readily available APK and should work fine via a VPN (which the US does not currently have any infrastructure in place to restrict / ban, and it would be hard to add it since it would blow up so much corporate remote-work IT in the process) assuming Tencent themselves don't block it. iOS users who already downloaded WeChat will *probably* be OK for a while on their existing phones, but updates won't work and downloads on new phones probably won't either, at least not without an increasingly-difficult jailbreak.


(honestly, between this and Apple's idiotic restrictions on cloud gaming services it's a marvelous time to consider switching to Android...)

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3 hours ago, 889 said:

U.S. companies are paranoid about observing these sorts of restrictions.


So, in this day and age, is there really a good reason for a US tech company not to move their HQ to, let's say, Germany and avoid the BS? Sure, they'd still have to comply with US regulations when doing business there, but US tantrums wouldn't make their spines shiver as much.


Tariff wars are already messing up with their product sourcing, imports and whatnot - and the clown circus that US politics is doesn't have the same appeal if lobbying can't get you out of trouble anymore... So what's left for them in the US?


  • Better taxes... which are already lower in Ireland?
  • Better benefits... which would be plenty in a country in recession such as Spain/Italy/Greece (and even the UK)?
  • Patriotism... no, that's not a thing in 2020.
  • Manufacturing and supporting the local economy... wait...

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There’s a hearing scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) where a judge will decide whether to issue an injunction temporarily  blocking the executive order targeting wechat. Some news outlets report that an injunction is likely.

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For those that don't like to rely on press releases and news stories but want to see the operative legal language of the rule, here it is:




I read it as possibly banning the provision of VPN services to access WeChat in the U.S, though maybe that wouldn't be treated as a "business-to-business" transaction. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.


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Presumably related, just got a pop up prompting me to add more ID info before I could complete a WeChat payment. Had to use Alipay and wait until I got home. Wanted passport and recent selfie. Had this account for ages so didn't provide much originally beyond phone number.

This is in China btw.

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6 minutes ago, Jim said:

Presumably related, just got a pop up prompting me to add more ID info before I could complete a WeChat payment.


No, this was already a thing about 2 years ago. 


You won't be able to do further transactions before you provide that info.

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I think it's random: in my case I use 支付宝 more than wechat pay and I still got the restriction applied on my account... whereas I know people that do thousands of transactions and they don't have it.


Well, not that they don't already have all the information regarding one's identity and those late night condom purchases at a konbini... so 没办法 😔

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I couldn’t find an official announcement yet, but after the Saturday hearing it appears that the WeChat executive order will be enjoined. The federal lawyers anticipate a loss and have asked the plaintiffs in the case to post a bond. They wouldn’t bother to do this if the executive order goes into effect as planned.




Just to be clear, this was the expected outcome since the judge presiding over the case already indicated she was buying the arguments made by the WeChat User Alliance. But many news outlets keep lumping the TikTok executive order with the WeChat one, confusing things considerably.

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I guess I’ll try to contextualize the current state of this WeChat ban. Unlike the proposed TikTok ban, this issue is much farther from being settled. Trump has at least a few problems:

- The WeChat ban might not get the kind of attention it was getting if it’s no longer associated with the TikTok ban. He wants people to get angry about WeChat, but it hasn’t received the same kind of negative press that TikTok was getting in the year leading up to the ban.

- He isn’t close to forcing Tencent to make a deal, in the way that TikTok was. Tencent didn’t even participate in the lawsuit that ended up blocking the executive order.

- Major corporations like Apple and Walmart opposed the executive order from the beginning because of how it might hurt their businesses in the Chinese market.

- He can lean on The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to go after Tencent the way that he went after TikTok, but that strategy won’t work on WeChat in particular because it‘s not a US-based service that was acquired by a foreign entity.

Given what’s happening with TikTok, it seems clear that Trump doesn’t truly care about the national security angle. He mostly just wants to make a deal with Tencent that will benefit his wealthy benefactors and make him look tough on China. All that being said, Trump isn’t one to back down from a plan just because it’s failing.

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  • 3 months later...

Donald Trump just issued a new Executive Order prohibiting transactions with Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office.


The scope of the prohibition depends on rules to be issued by the Commerce Department.



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