U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler has denied a motion put forth by the US Justice Department and President Donald Trump to reinstate a ban on Tencent’s WeChat. The ban on the app has been halted in September in the form of a preliminary injunction, which meant Apple and Google did not have to remove the app from their respective stores. The US government then filed a motion to reverse that ruling but the court again said that even with the new material provided, there was insufficient evidence backing the need for a ban.
“The record does not support the conclusion that the government has ‘narrowly tailored’ the prohibited transactions to protect its national security interests,” Judge Beeler writes in her decision. “[The evidence] supports the conclusion that the restrictions ‘burden substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government’s legitimate interests.’”
As with TikTok, the app owned by Chinese company ByteDance, the Justice Department has argued that WeChat threatens national security.