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US appeals court squashes WeChat ban, Tencent share price shoots up

Written by Wency Chen Published on 

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Tencent share prices rose 4.1 % on Tuesday following the court’s decision.

On Monday, a United States appeals court rejected the Trump administration’s request to ban Tencent’s WeChat from Apple and Google’s app stores in the country, according to Reuters.

Tencent’s share price (HK: 700) rose 4.1 % on Tuesday following the court’s decision, the biggest bump in two weeks.

A three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released a brief order saying that the government had not demonstrated it would “suffer an imminent, irreparable injury during the pendency of this appeal, which is being expedited,” Reuters reported.

The order follows a San Francisco judge’s denial of the US government’s appeal to reverse an earlier decision allowing WeChat to remain available in app stores in the US. “The record does not support the conclusion that the government has ‘narrowly tailored’ the prohibited transactions to protect its national security interests,” US magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler wrote on Friday in her decision.

China digest

On September 19, a US magistrate issued a preliminary injunction halting the Trump administration’s WeChat ban, which was expected to take effect on September 20, after a lawsuit was filed by the nonprofit US WeChat Users Alliance on behalf of WeChat users in the country.

According to research firm Sensor Tower, WeChat has been downloaded 19 million times in the US, where the app is mostly used by overseas Chinese, as well as people with personal or business relationships in China.

The Trump administration’s original order would also bar other US transactions with WeChat, potentially making the app unusable in the United States. The appeals court said the case will be placed on its January 2021 calendar.

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