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Trump’s ban on China’s WeChat may carry a heavy price

Monday, August 17, 2020


President Donald Trump issued two executive orders on August 6 that effectively ban the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat. The impact of the TikTok ban will be limited, but targeting WeChat strikes at the heart of the China-US digital ecosystem.


  • TikTok's likely takeover by a US business will generate strong negative feelings in China, possibly triggering boycotts.
  • Tencent's deep involvement with international content producers will decrease, further limiting content availability on the Chinese market.
  • Fears of WeChat’s use an instrument of Chinese state power are well-founded, but the cost of banning may still exceed the benefit.
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