Apple, Ford, and Disney reject Trump’s WeChat Ban

Apple, Ford, and Disney reject Trump’s WeChat Ban


Several major US companies have expressed concern over the effect of the Trump administration's executive order targeting WeChat, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. “More than a dozen” companies including Apple, Ford, Walmart, and Disney are all said to have taken part in a phone call with White House officials on Tuesday in which the companies detailed the dire consequences a WeChat ban could have on their businesses.

The executive order was signed late Thursday and explicitly blocked “any transaction that is related to WeChat.” The policy will take effect in a matter of weeks, but due to its broad language, there is still much confusion about the intended scope of the ban, which is subject to the Department of Commerce. One reason for the calls between the White House and US companies is to try to get some clarity on that, according to the WSJ.

Related: Trump's WeChat ban could affect everything from Spotify to League of Legends

Operated by internet giant Tencent, WeChat is the dominant messaging app in China and is also widely used for payments, e-commerce, marketing, and more. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is ubiquitous in modern Chinese life and that any smartphone without access to it would be a very tough sell.

That is, the ban will hurt Apple directly, as US businesses can no longer offer viable products in the world's largest mobile market. An App Store without WeChat would be a bigger problem for iPhones in China than Google's lack of service for Huawei elsewhere.

But even American companies with deeper ties to the smartphone industry have concerns. Not being able to market products or handle transactions on WeChat will significantly hinder their operations in China and their ability to reach Chinese consumers. These companies hope that the scope of the executive order will be narrowed and clarified in the coming weeks, WSJ said.

Reported by WSJ

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