WeChat Ban Request Halted by US Judge

California’s District Judge Carl Nichols who joined last year has rejected the request from the Department of Justice to reverse a previous decision allowing the Chinese social media app WeChat to remain active in US app stores. US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said the government submitted evidence does not change her opinion about the messaging app, owned by the Chinese company Tencent app. So she ordered WeChat will remain active in US app stores for the time being and temporarily halts Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s request. 

Beeler’s prior request obstructed the Commerce Department boycott of US exchanges on WeChat. And keeping in mind that the legislature asserted it has distinguished “critical” dangers to public security, Beeler didn’t show up convinced. She said in her September 20th request that a gathering of WeChat clients considering themselves the WeChat Alliance had demonstrated there was “severe questions” about whether the boycott would conceivably abuse their First Amendment rights.

John E. Hall, a lawyer for TikTok, had argued around a 90-minute Sunday morning hearing that the ban was “unprecedented” and “irrational.”

TikTok Partnered With Oracle

The Trump organization likewise needed to boycott video sharing application TikTok, claimed by Chinese-based ByteDance, on similar grounds, and President Trump requested the organization be sold. But instead of a sale, a provisional understanding made Oracle TikTok’s believed innovation accomplice in the US and made another substance called TikTok Global. The TikTok and Oracle partnership deal has not yet been finished. On September 27th, US District Judge Carl Nichols conceded a fundamental directive against a restriction on new downloads of TikTok in the US hours before it would have produced results.

ByteDance said on Sept. 20 they made a preliminary deal for Walmart Inc and Oracle to take stakes in a new organization, TikTok Global that would manage U.S. operations. The deal is still to be checked by the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Justice Department attorney Serena Orloff said at a hearing earlier this month, that Tencent can collect a “digital facsimile of a person’s life” on WeChat and also the administration’s position that the company is connected to the Chinese Communist Party. This app is also banned in India and some other countries due to security concerns and people are afraid to use whether is WeChat safe to use or not.

The group is not officially connected to WeChat, but they said there is no alternative app the same as WeChat does, and argued it is the primary and easiest way for Chinese language speakers in the US to connect with their families in China as well as receive information locally. 

WeChat’s US Statistics

WeChat has 19 million active US users and 1 billion users globally. It has been downloaded around 22 million times in the United States since 2014, which about 7 percent of downloads from outside China.

The US Justice Department also has appealed against Beeler’s decision to the Ninth Circuit, but a final hearing is not expected before December 2020.

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What is WeChat App

WeChat is one of the most used popular social media applications in China and other countries. Tencent, a parent company of this app is one of the most valuable technology companies in the world. Since 2011, this app has added many new features from a messaging app to an all-in-one super portal, with more than 900 million monthly active users. This WeChat app can be used on both Phone on the Web. You can able to login Wechat on Web using QR code

I hope you all are known something about WeChat is and how it works. But many of the users wondering it’s a legitimate messaging and communication service, and safe while using it. In this article, we explain everything there is to know about WeChat and its security.  

WeChat Pay

WeChat’s major success is because of this platform’s mobile payment service called WeChat Pay. It helps every aspect of a user’s life from shopping to booking taxis, hospital appointments and ordering food through this application.

WeChat-Pay-Social-Singam

In China, 84% of people are willing to replace cash with mobile payment. In 2016, 38 trillion Yuan (A$7.5 trillion) was exchanged via mobile payment which is 50 times larger than the United States, the world’s second-biggest market. Till date, WeChat has successfully launched its payment service “WeChat Pay” in 15 countries.

WeChat Pay targets Australia which is a popular destination for Chinese students and tourists. In Australia there are more than 10,000 shops and restaurants are using the WeChat Pay system. In 2016, Chinese tourists spent A$9.2 billion in Australia, and it is expected to grow A$13 billion by the end of 2020.

Security Flaws in Chinese Apps

Tech gadgets imported from China, such as smartphones, watches and other goods are regularly having security flaws and even spying government by that tool. The Indian government blacklisted WeChat and some other 41 apps on last December and categorizing them as spyware.

According to WeChat, user data is not monitored or saved by the company server, as long as there is no requirement from the Chinese authorities. However, Australian users WeChat account is always censored – even if you connect your WeChat to an Australian number. 

 If you register the WeChat account outside China, you will be considered as “overseas account” and you’re not censored that apply to Chinese users the same strict standards. A recent survey from the Citizen Lab suggests that messages containing censored keywords will still be banned if they are sent to a Chinese account. 

The most common method of censorship on WeChat is keyword blocking, which means messages containing sensitive spam words, such as “Tiananmen June 4” and “free Tibet”, won’t be received to another end user.

Is WeChat Safe and Secure for Messaging?

WeChat is as safe as other messaging and communication apps because it requires a verified mobile phone number, and a strong password to register as a user. So as long as the user continually changing their password, enable 2-factor authentication on their mobile device, no one can access their messages or personal profile without their knowledge. 

For safety concerns change your privacy settings as per your requirements. Here are the top 5 safety tips when using WeChat.

1. Create a secure and lengthy password for your WeChat account.

2. Always sign out your account when you’re finished.

3. Change your privacy settings immediately.

4. Analyze and verify their profile before you add any unknown users.

5. Don’t use the WeChat “Shake” function.

This FAQ listed on WeChat’s official customer website:

One of WeChat’s official customer said that WeChat securely encrypts your sent and received messages between the servers. We do not permanently store the content of any messages on our servers whether they are video, audio or text. WeChat deletes the content of the message on our servers and therefore third parties including WeChat itself are unable to view the content of your message. 

Currently, WeChat is the only app in its category that is accredited by the privacy organization TRUSTe. It’s also certified by the austerest international server security compliance standard ISO 270001–2013. So it would be quite difficult for hackers to penetrate WeChat’s servers and view any of the users’ private information. 

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