The order also affects Tencent’s QQ Wallet, Tencent’s QQ messenger, CamScanner, SHAREit, VMate (published by Alibaba Group subsidiary UCWeb) and Beijing Kingsoft Office Software’s WPS Office. It follows the administration’s previous attempts at banning TikTok and WeChat from app stores in the United States. If you’ll recall, both attempts were blocked by the court on freedom of speech grounds. A senior administration official told Reuters, however, that the White House believes these particular restrictions would stick — applications like Alipay wouldn’t be able to argue a case based on the First Amendment, they said. As The NY Times noted, the restrictions’ reach would likely be pretty limited compared to the impact of a TikTok or a WeChat ban. Most of the apps’ users are in China, especially the payment applications, which require Chinese bank accounts. That said, the order could still have a negative impact on a lot of Chinese-Americans who often travel between the two countries, as well as businesses that use the apps to cater to Chinese customers. The order will take effect after 45 days, long after Trump leaves office. President-elect Joe Biden could revoke it after he assumes office, but his camp has yet to announce his decision.
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