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With Case Over Ban In US Court, Getting New US Users For WeChat To Be Tough, Says Tencent

With Case Over Ban In US Court, Getting New US Users For WeChat To Be Tough, Says Tencent
Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, the owner and operator of the messaging app WeChat, has said that it could find it difficult to convince new users to join its platform in the United States while a challenge a ruling by court in the US in favor of the company that prevents a ban on the messaging app is challenged by the White House.
Since the US Department of Commerce has issued an order to block WeChat downloads on national security grounds in the country, the company has been evaluating the potential impact of a ban, said the company in a statement filed at Hong Kong’s stock exchange late on Sunday.
It also said that kin the statement that if Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google remove WeChat from their stores, there would be a negative impact on the existing US users of the messaging app in terms of downloading routine updates of the app.
Compared to its user base and use in China, where the app is ubiquitous, the number of users of WeChat in the United States is comparatively miniscule. 
A challenge to the proposed ban has “shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim” so “the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor”, said US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on Sunday.
The charges of the US government that WeChat presents a national threat have been refuted by Tencent.
On the other hand, another Chinese tech firm that is facing a possible ban in the US, ByteDance’s short video sharing app TikTok is reportedly seeking a valuation of $60 billion for the app with stakes being reportedly taken up by two US companies Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc in the short-video app's US business. This arrangement is being made b y the Chinese firm to address the security concerns of the US government. 
A 12.5 per cent stake in TikTok Global will be taken up by Oracle and will also have the responsibility of storing all the data of the app’s US users in its cloud so that the app is able to meet the national security requirements of the country, the tow companies said on Saturday. 
A 7.5 per cent stake in the app is to be taken up by 4 retail giant Walmart, the company said.
According to a report published in Bloomberg, if the two American companies agree to the $60 billion valuation as is being sought by ByteDnce for TikTok, the two companies have to pay a combined $12 billion for their stakes.
There were no comments on the issue available from ByteDance, TikTok, Oracle and Walmart.
The three companies have not yet been able to set a valuation for the short video app as they are now working out the new equity structure as well as the new data security measures, claimed the Bloomberg report.
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Christopher J. Mitchell

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