WeChat Parent Tencent Joins Trump Ban Fight to Protect Data

Tencent Holdings Ltd. said it will join a lawsuit that users of its WeChat app filed against the U.S. government, but only to ensure that proprietary business information is kept confidential.

The court filing Monday marks the first time the Chinese company is publicly engaging in a legal battle that has so far successfully halted the Trump administration’s effort to limit the app’s use by U.S. customers.

The judge presiding over the case is trying to decide whether to make public a document that was filed under seal -- a proposal that Tencent had submitted to the U.S. to mitigate the administration’s concerns that WeChat is a threat to national security.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler solicited input from the WeChat users who sued, the Justice Department and Tencent about what information can now be made public.

A group called U.S. WeChat Users Alliance persuaded Beeler in September to temporarily block President Donald Trump’s restrictions on the app, but Tencent hasn’t brought its own legal action against the U.S. government.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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