The Trump administration’s attempt to ban popular social media application WeChat hit an unexpected roadblock on Sunday as a California Court blocked the move in a lawsuit funded by Chinese Americans.
US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler ruled the ban “shown serious questions going to the merits of the first amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor” and argued the measures “burden substantially more speech than is necessary to serve the government’s significant interest in national security, especially given the lack of substitute channels for communication”.
The ban was due to go in effect on Sunday evening, removing it from Google and Apple stores within the United States. With over 19 million people in America using the application, a prohibition on it would have caused serious difficulties as well as intense disruptions to American businesses within China itself.
It remains to be seen as to whether the administration will challenge the decision.