Trump

WeChat is a lifeline for the Chinese diaspora. What happens now that Trump banned it?

Cindy Wang’s whole life is on WeChat.

Through the Chinese everything app, the 24-year-old shops for clothing and sends photos and audio messages to her grandma and uncle in Guangzhou. It’s how she schedules appointments with her hairstylist and where she found her bao supplier — a local woman who sells the steamed buns out of her car.

For millions of people around the globe, and in swaths of the United States with concentrated Chinese populations — including Southern California communities in the San Gabriel Valley and Irvine, where Wang lives — WeChat is a way of life.

“We always use WeChat because everyone else uses it,” Wang said. “It’s like Facebook messenger but ten times better, ten times more sophisticated.”

But with the Trump administration targeting the app, she worries that soon she and her parents will be cut off from their cultural community in the U.S. and lose

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Pelosi calls Trump executive order ‘constitutional slop’; US surpasses 5 million confirmed cases

President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally act on the pandemic-driven recession by with executive orders drew scalding criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday as the U.S. reached another historic milestone by surpassing 5 million cases.

The U.S. home to about one-quarter of cases reported worldwide. And our numbers continue to roar higher: More than 56,000 new U.S. cases were reported Sunday, with more than 1,000 deaths. More than 162,000 Americans have died in little more than six months.

All this as the world neared 20 million cases, a number experts widely believe is underreported due to insufficient testing. 

Trump, unable to cut a deal with Congress on a new $1 trillion stimulus package, signed an executive order and issued three memorandums Saturday. One would provide an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans. Pelosi dismissed the package as an “illusion” and “constitutional slop.”

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US on brink of 5 million confirmed cases; Trump executive order may have exceeded authority

The U.S. was on the brink of another historic milestone Sunday, poised to surpass 5 million reported cases of COVID-19 — a number roughly equal to one-quarter of total worldwide cases reported.

The numbers continue to roar higher: More than 56,000 new U.S. cases were reported Sunday, with more than 1,000 deaths. More than 162,000 Americans have died in little more than six months.

The Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus dashboard also reported record-breaking numbers in Brazil, the second hardest-hit nation in terms of deaths and cases. Brazil has now exceeded 100,000 deaths and 3 million cases. 

All this as the world neared 20 million cases, a number experts widely believe is underreported due to insufficient testing. 

The staggering numbers come as world leaders grapple with the ongoing human and economic toll of the virus. President Donald Trump has previously attributed high number of cases in the U.S. to expanded testing,

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Trump signs executive orders; hundreds quarantining in Ga. school district; masks optional at Sturgis motorcycle rally

After weeks of stalled congressional negotiations over a new coronavirus stimulus package, President Donald Trump signed a series executive orders Saturday evening as the U.S. was approaching 5 million cases of COVID-19.

Trump, repeatedly referring to the coronavirus as the “China virus,” said the orders would provide an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits, suspend payments on some student loans through the end of the year and protect renters from being evicted from their homes.

“We’re coming back very strong. We’re doing well with the virus,” Trump said, even as the U.S. was leading nations worldwide in confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 and confirmed an additional 50,000 new cases Friday.

Meanwhile, South Dakota was hosting one of the largest events since the beginning of the pandemic – the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an event that is set to attract 250,000 people over the next 10 days, even as experts

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Trump admin’s decision to cut census short could have dire consequences

In 2017, a government watchdog agency placed the 2020 census on its “high-risk” list — sounding the alarm to the public and lawmakers that the consequential decennial faced near-insurmountable odds.

The initial company printing the forms went bankrupt. There were cybersecurity weaknesses as the census moved online for the first time, hiring shortfalls, cutbacks to crucial operational testing, and the Trump administration’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question disrupted the all-too-important head count.

Now, as a global coronavirus pandemic upends the American economy and daily life, the census faces a logistical nightmare to avoid what experts say could become a 10-year mistake that skews the balance of power in the U.S. for years to come.

On Monday, the Census Bureau announced it would end its count one month early, on Sept 30. The move created consternation among researchers, demographers, civil rights organizations, local community leaders, and immigrant rights groups.

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Trump moves on China apps may create new internet ‘firewall’

A ban by President Donald Trump’s administration on Chinese mobile apps such as TikTok and WeChat risks fragmenting an already fragile global internet and creating an American version of China’s “Great Firewall.”

Fears about the global internet ecosystem intensified this week with Trump’s executive orders banning the popular video app TikTok and Chinese social network WeChat, following a US government directive to prohibit the use of other “untrusted” applications and services from China.

The restrictions announced on the basis of what Trump called national security threats move further away from the long-promoted American ideal of a global, open internet and could invite other countries to follow suit, analysts said.

“It’s really an attempt to fragment the internet and the global information society along US and Chinese lines, and shut China out of the information economy,” said Milton Mueller, a Georgia Tech University professor and founder of the Internet Governance Project.

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Targeting WeChat, Trump Takes Aim at China’s Bridge to the World

A Chinese construction worker speaks during a video chat with his wife on the WeChat messaging app in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2018. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
A Chinese construction worker speaks during a video chat with his wife on the WeChat messaging app in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2018. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — In China, WeChat does more than any app rightfully should. People use it to talk, shop, share photos, pay bills, get their news and send money.

With much of the Chinese internet locked behind a wall of filters and censors, the country’s everything app is also one of the few digital bridges connecting China to the rest of the world. It is the way exchange students talk to their families, immigrants keep up with relatives and much of the Chinese diaspora swaps memes, gossip and videos.

Now that bridge is threatening to crumble.

Late Thursday, the Trump administration issued an executive order that could pull China’s most important app from Apple and Google stores across the world and

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Tech leaders have long predicted a ‘splinternet’ future where the web is divided between the US and China. Trump might make it a reality.

President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.
President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

  • The Trump administration announced a broad plan on Wednesday to block Chinese software from being used on US devices and keep US data off Chinese cloud services.

  • The plan mirrors China’s “great firewall” that prevents people in China from accessing most US websites and apps.

  • While the Trump administration’s announcement rocked the world of tech, Silicon Valley leaders have long braced for a “splinternet” that could replace the world wide web with locally contained networks.

  • Others, like former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, have previously predicted a bifurcated internet, split between China’s internet and the rest of the world.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

We’re closer to a “splinternet” than ever before.

Tech leaders have long warned that the world wide web could come

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TikTok lovers rage against Trump threat of US ban

A TikTok star pounds a beat as she weaves lyrics mocking the idea of US President Donald Trump banning the short-form video sharing app.

The “Trump Freestyle” post Monday by @maya2960 quickly racked up more than a million views and 500,000 “likes” on the popular platform owned by China-based ByteDance.

“Didn’t think this through, little Donny, did you? Not much of a businessman,” she rapped.

“You can ban this app, there’ll be a new one. There’s supply where there’s demand.”

The lyrics included a promise that TikTok users would not go down without a fight, citing First Amendment protections against government censorship of free speech.

Another video snippet racking up views was captioned “Me trying to convince Trump to let us keep TikTok” and showed a woman coloring her face orange and building a brick wall.

American comedian Elijah Daniels used Twitter to bid farewell to his TikTok followers, giving

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Who else might President Trump ban?

US v China app
US v China app

TikTok’s time in the US may be running out, with President Trump and other senior officials talking of an imminent ban.

But other Chinese-owned apps and software-based services could also be targeted.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged that some of the Asian nation’s technology companies were “feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party”.

So who else is at risk?

The most obvious target is Tencent’s WeChat, which was the only product that Mr Pompeo called out by name in addition to TikTok.

WeChat is sometimes described as being a social network, but it’s really so much more – offering ways to make payments, run additional mini-programs, find dates and get the news, in addition to messaging and other social activities.

It’s perhaps best thought of as being a kind of secondary operating system that sits on top of iOS or Android.

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