WeChat app witnesses downloading spree in US ahead of ban
HONG KONG – WeChat, the messaging application of Chinese tech giant Tencent, witnessed a spike in downloads in the US since Friday. This comes after Washington said that it would go ahead with its decision to ban the app.
As per the order of the US Department of Commerce, Apple and Google have to remove the application for downloads because of national security issues. But a US judge on Sunday blocked the move. The department said on Monday it would challenge the order.
According to data analytics firm Sensor Tower, WeChat was downloaded 54,000 times between Friday and Saturday. It is 28 times the 1,900 downloads witnessed during the same period a week earlier. It said WeCom, an office collaboration app, also saw a jump in downloads in the United States over that period.
In recent months, the US government has initiated a series of measures to crack the whip on Chinese apps and tech firms citing national security threat. This comes amid growing rift between Beijing and Washington.
Tencent has denied the allegation that its apps pose a threat to US national security. It added that updates of the apps for US users would be affected if Apple and Google remove the application from their stores.