Apple and other giant companies including Disney and Walmart have all expressed worries that the potential banning of the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat could affect their business overseas.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration plans to restrict business transactions involving the WeChat app developed by Chinese firm Tencent Holdings, leaving many U.S. companies worried that the move could undermine their competitiveness in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Over a dozen major U.S. multinational companies raised concerns about the issue on a call with White House officials last week. The companies reportedly worried about the broad scope and impact of President Trump’s executive order targeting WeChat which is set to go into effect next month.
Apple, Ford, Walmart, and Walt Disney Co. participated in the call according to WSJ sources. Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council, commented: “For those who don’t live in China, they don’t understand how vast the implications are if American companies aren’t allowed to use it. They are going to be held at a severe disadvantage to every competitor.”
Other participants on the call included Procter & Gamble, Intel, MetLife, Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley, United Parcel Service, Merck, and Cargill.
WeChat is used by more than 1.2 billion users globally and is a daily staple of the average Chinese citizen’s life where it’s used for mobile payments, messaging, e-commerce, official communications, and many other activities. For U.S. companies operating in China, it is a vital marketing hub to connect with Chinese consumers.
Companies are reportedly hoping that the Trump administration will narrow the order as it is implemented over the next few weeks. A White House spokesman issued a statement on the situation saying that the administration “is committed to protecting the American people from all cyber-related threats to critical infrastructure, public health and safety, and our economic and national security.”
Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com