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WeChat Rebranded By Chinese Owner Tencent Prior To Its Ban In US

WeChat Rebranded By Chinese Owner Tencent Prior To Its Ban In US
Days prior to a ban of WeChat, owned by the Chinese tech giant Tencent, in the United States, the name of the messaging app WeChat Work office collaboration app has been changed to WeCom and it is being presented as a potential alternative to the messaging app WeChat.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Chinese firm had registered the WeCom trademark on August 19.
The scope of a possible ban on WeChat-related transactions in the United States from September 20 will not include WeCom, said reports quoting Tencent sources. Banning of WeChat, along with the Chinese owned short video app TikTok is one in a series of US measures of cracking the whip against Chinese tech firms and apps which are deemed to be a threat to national security according to the administration of US president Donald Trump.
No comments from Tencent on he reports were available.
A number of services such as messaging, social media, payment functions and other services are combined in WeChat. The app has turned out to be essential in the daily life in China and the company claims to have more than a billion users.
The WeChat app is primarily used by Chinese expats and others in the United States for communicating with relatives and associated in China. According to analytics firm Apptopia, the messaging app has an average of 19 million daily active users in the United States.
Reports also claimed that users would be able to link their WeChat account and WeChat contacts with WeCom after downloading it. That would allow the users of WeCom to message, create chat groups, and even receive virtual money from WeChat friends without the requirement for he sender or the receiver of messages to download WeCom.
So far, there is no evidence of WeCom being actively promoted in the US by Tencent. And according to Sensor Tower, no surge in the downloading of WeCom has been noticed in the US in recent weeks.
New regulations that will clarify which WeChat transactions will be banned under President Donald Trump's executive order will be released by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Sunday.
There is currently no plan to target individuals or groups that only download or use WeChat to convey personal or business information, said reports quoting a statement from the US Justice Department on Thursday.
A spike in downloads of WeChat and alternative apps by US residents was noted after the announcement by Trump on August 6 of the ban on transactions related to WeChat. A court case was against the proposed ban was also filed by a group of WeChat users.
While being very popular in China, WeChat has not managed to make much headway in the US. Only about 3,000 American had installed the messaging app so far in September which was about the same in the corresponding period in August but was higher than the 1,000 installation of the app in the US in September last year.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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