WeChat decision by U.S. Commerce expected by Sept. 20

Elva Mankin

In a court filing Wednesday, the Trump administration underscored the complexity of cutting ties with WeChat, a ubiquitous app in China that is also used by many Chinese speakers in the United States, some of whom filed a lawsuit trying to block the government from taking action against the app.

A Trump administration filing in that case said the Commerce Department is still reviewing “a range of transactions” related to WeChat for possible prohibition. The government does not plan to impose criminal or civil penalties on individuals for downloading or using the app for personal or business activities, but users may find the app “impaired” by other steps Commerce takes, said the filing in federal court in San Francisco.

Other steps could potentially include requiring Apple and Google to remove WeChat from their app stores, trade lawyers not involved in the case said.

Tencent declined to comment for this story.

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