China has released new anti-monopoly rules for internet platforms, further tightening existing restrictions for internet firms. The new set of rules bar firms from a few behaviours, including forcing merchants to choose between China’s top internet players. The guidelines are expected to put new pressure on — Alibaba Group’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces or JD.com, Ant Group’s Alipay, Tencent Holding’s WeChat Pay.
TikTok asked a judge to block the Trump Administration’s attempt to ban its app, suggesting its forced deal with Oracle and Walmart remains unsettled. Trump Administration had granted a “blessing” to TikTok by extending the deadline to 24th September 2020. Interestingly, a US judge, last Saturday, blocked Trump’s ban on WeChat – which was TikTok’s partner in the ban order. Hence, this could be considered as TikTok’s attempt to seek help from the US state court.
The Commerce Department, on Sunday afternoon, delayed TikTok ban by one week which was earlier supposed to be on 20th Sept. While the TikTok ban/acquisition plan is still on cards, WeChat may get an exemption from it. A judge in California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the administration’s WeChat ban as it was vital for Chinese people living in the US; and while it has security concerns, banning the app won’t help in any way.
After the Trump administration issued an order banning Tencent owned WeChat, its downloads in the US have risen by 41%, according to a data shared by Sensor Tower. Its encrypted alternative Signal also saw a 30% spike in downloads in the US and 90% in China. WeChat users have also turned to Tencent’s QQ app as it is unclear whether the ban scope covers it or not. Due to the ban, Chinese immigrants worry about losing connection with families, friends in China.
US President Donald Trump has signed an order restricting US firms from making any transactions with ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat. This could be a heavy blow for Apple, resulting in 30% worldwide decline in iPhone sales and a 25% decline in sales of other Apple products. WeChat is critical for users in China and if it will be removed from App Store, iPhone shipments in the Chinese market will seriously be affected, as predicted by the analysts.