On the day before WeChat was ordered to be banned, my octogenarian parents, who live in China, insisted on having a video chat with their granddaughter and me. They were worried that they would not be able to see us as conveniently after we were forced to switch to regular phone calls.
The app is safe for now: The same day of what we thought would be our final video call on WeChat, a California judge temporarily blocked an executive order aiming to force the removal of the app from Google and Apple’s app stores. The Trump administration continues to push for the ban, citing national security concerns that WeChat “allow[s] the Chinese Communist party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”
Since Trump’s executive order banning WeChat and TikTok, some of the 20 million WeChat users from the Chinese and Southeast Asian diaspora community have been worried about losing a lifeline to stay in contact with their aging parents, relatives, and friends back at home, myself included. While WeChat is most dominant in China, the instant messaging and social network app is an indispensable tool of mobile communication for the Chinese-speaking community globally. There are two versions of WeChat running from different data servers: One is called Weixin, operating in China for mainland Chinese users; another, referred to as WeChat, is an international version to serve overseas users. As