A U.S. appeals court has denied the Trump administration’s request to immediately ban Chinese-owned app WeChat from smartphone app stores over national security concerns.
The Justice Department argued that WeChat was a threat to national security.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, told the Justice Department that the government had not demonstrated that it would suffer “imminent, irreparable injury” while its appeal against the California court ruling is pending.
The appeal court set a hearing for the WeChat case for January 2021.
A group of WeChat users who had filed a suit calling for a halt on the ban told Reuters that the ruling will avoid an “unprecedented shutdown of a major platform for communications relied on by millions of people in the United States.”
While the app has managed to skirt a broad ban in the U.S., WeChat and its parent Tencent may still see restrictions against the app’s payment services, WeChat Pay, Bloomberg reported earlier this month. The Trump administration has reportedly been working on plans to restrict the expansion of WeChat and its Chinese rival Ant Group’s Alipay over national security concerns.