Tag Archives: WeChat

TikTok + ByteDance Ban By Donald Trump Explained!

TikTok + ByteDance Ban By Donald Trump Explained!

US President Donald Trump just signed an executive order, highlighting the dangers of TikTok and ordering a ban of ByteDance, calling it a national emergency!

Find out what this new Trump ban means for TikTok users, and ByteDance!

 

TikTok Triggers ByteDance Ban

On 6 August 2020, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order, blocking everyone under US jurisdiction from transacting with TikTok owner, ByteDance Ltd.

This effectively bans the usage of TikTok in the United States and by US citizens worldwide. It also prohibits business dealings with ByteDance.

Trump called it a national emergency, citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the National Emergencies Act and Section 301 of Title 3, United States Code.

His executive order claims that TikTok collects and potentially shares personal and proprietary data of American citizens with the Chinese Communist Party, while censoring content deemed sensitive to the CCP, pointing out that :

These risks are real.  The Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, and the United States Armed Forces have already banned the use of TikTok on Federal Government phones.  The Government of India recently banned the use of TikTok and other Chinese mobile applications throughout the country; in a statement, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology asserted that they were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”  American companies and organizations have begun banning TikTok on their devices.  The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security.

 

ByteDance Ban : How Does It Affect TikTok?

Interestingly, while Trump’s executive order explicitly mentions TikTok, it doesn’t actually ban TikTok. It only bans transactions with TikTok’s owner – ByteDance and its subsidiaries.

In other words, if Microsoft buys TikTok from ByteDance, TikTok can continue to operate, as long as the deal gets done soon.

This is different from the concurrent WeChat and Tencent Holdings ban, which specifically bans both WeChat (the app) and its owner (Tencent Holdings).

Of course, targeting ByteDance and its subsidiaries will include the US-based TikTok, and forbid any financial transfers to and from those subsidiaries.

Section 1.  (a)  The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order, to the extent permitted under applicable law: any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd. (a.k.a. Zìjié Tiàodòng), Beijing, China, or its subsidiaries, in which any such company has any interest, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order.

(c)  45 days after the date of this order, the Secretary shall identify the transactions subject to subsection (a) of this section.

In addition, it applies not just to American citizens worldwide but to any person or organisation within the United States.

The TikTok ban follows the WeChat ban, and similarly, does not start until 45 days later, on 20 September 2020. That suggests it’s being used as a leverage, rather than an urgent matter of national security.

Possibly to pressure ByteDance into accepting the Microsoft offer to buy them out. It could also just a way for Trump to boost his flagging chances at winning re-election.

And “coincidentally”, he signed his executive order on the same day Facebook unveiled Instagram Reels

 

TikTok Responds : We Are Shocked

TikTok responded with a statement, saying that they are shocked by the Executive Order :

We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.

 

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WeChat + Tencent Holdings Ban By Donald Trump Explained!

US President Donald Trump just signed an executive order, ordering a ban of both WeChat and Tencent Holdings, calling it a national emergency!

Find out what this new US ban means for WeChat users, and Tencent Holdings!

 

WeChat + Tencent Holdings Ban Signed By Donald Trump

On 6 August 2020, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order, blocking everyone under US jurisdiction from using WeChat or transacting with its owner, Tencent Holdings.

This effectively bans the usage of WeChat in the United States and by US citizens worldwide. It also prohibits business dealings with Tencent Holdings.

Trump called it a national emergency, citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the National Emergencies Act and Section 301 of Title 3, United States Code.

His executive order claims that WeChat collects and potentially shares personal and proprietary data of both American and Chinese citizens with the Chinese Communist Party, citing an example :

In March 2019, a researcher reportedly discovered a Chinese database containing billions of WeChat messages sent from users in not only China but also the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Australia. WeChat, like TikTok, also reportedly censors content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive and may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party. These risks have led other countries, including Australia and India, to begin restricting or banning the use of WeChat. The United States must take aggressive action against the owner of WeChat to protect our national security.

 

WeChat + Tencent Holdings Ban : What Does It Mean?

The executive order is actually quite wide-ranging. It does not only ban WeChat, but also Tencent Holdings and its subsidiaries.

This could mean other apps owned by Tencent Holdings – like Valorant, League of Legends, Clash of Clans, JOOX, etc. could be affected.

We will only know more when Wilbur Ross, the US Secretary of Commerce, clarifies the ban (as stated in section 1(c) below.

Targeting Tencent Holdings and its subsidiaries will also forbid any financial transfers to and from those subsidiaries, at least within the United States.

The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order, to the extent permitted under applicable law: any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. (a.k.a. Téngxùn Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī), Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order.

(c)  45 days after the date of this order, the Secretary shall identify the transactions subject to subsection (a) of this section.

In addition, it applies not just to American citizens worldwide but to any person or organisation within the United States.

The WeChat ban follows the TikTok ban, and similarly, does not start until 45 days later, on 20 September 2020. That suggests it’s being used as a leverage, rather than an urgent matter of national security.

This could be an effort to pressure the Chinese into agreeing to a trade deal, or a way for Trump to boost his flagging chances at winning re-election.

 

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U Mobile WeChat Go SIM – Unlimited Data For Chinese Tourists!

KUALA LUMPUR, 5th December 2017 – U Mobile today announced a partnership with WeChat to launch the U Mobile WeChat Go SIM. This new prepaid SIM will offer Chinese tourists unlimited data to enjoy social messaging on the WeChat app and free Lingcod TV subscription whilst having unlimited data to stream over 100,000 hours of high-definition movies, documentaries, and educational content out of China.

 

The U Mobile WeChat Go SIM

The new U Mobile WeChat Go SIM will be the only WeChat Go cobranded prepaid SIM in the country and it is packed with other value-added services including 1GB of free roaming data for Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia and 60 minutes’ worth of IDD calls to China or calls made in Malaysia.

The launch of U Mobile WeChat Go SIM is very timely as the Malaysian Tourism and Culture Ministry is targeting to attract eight million Chinese tourists by 2020. With more and more tourists from China visiting Malaysia, the U Mobile prepaid WeChat Go SIM is well positioned to meet all their connectivity demands.

 

“U Mobile is constantly coming up with unlimited ideas for our customers. With the new U Mobile WeChat Go SIM, possibilities are endless as the whole WeChat ecosystem goes beyond just social messaging. Together with WeChat, we will work on packing even more benefits like mobile commerce into the WeChat Go SIM not just for Chinese tourists but for anyone who is a user of WeChat,” said Jasmine Lee, Chief Marketing Officer, U Mobile.

“We are delighted to begin our partnership with U Mobile to offer Chinese travellers an enhanced mobile experience in Malaysia,” said WeChat. “Through our network of partners like U Mobile, we would like to introduce WeChat’s ecosystem to the market and give WeChat users more value-added services.”

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The U Mobile WeChat Go SIM Price & Availability

U Mobile WeChat Go SIM will be available from 6 December 2017, and Chinese tourists may opt to purchase the prepaid SIM pack from Sunway Media retailers in China prior to travelling. The SIM card will also be available at 138 U Mobile outlets in Malaysia as well as the various international airports in the country such as KLIA and KLIA 2.

PriceRM 36.40 (China Pack)
RM 38 (Malaysia Pack)
Validity15 days
Unlimited local data access to WeChat and Lingcod TVYes
Local data limit5 GB
Roaming usage in 4 countries1 GB
Local SMSFree
Local Talktime60 minutes
IDD Calls to China60 minutes

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WhatsApp Free Again – Subscription Plan Cancelled!

WhatsApp just announced that they have abandoned their subscription plan, making WhatsApp FREE once again! They are not going to start showing ads either.

This is likely due to the inroads in their market share made by alternative messaging apps like Telegram and WeChat, that are not only free but offer better features to boot. Even so, WhatsApp remains the dominant instant messaging platform with over 900 million users worldwide (as of September 2015).

Check out their blog announcement :

Making WhatsApp free and more useful

Nearly a billion people around the world today rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family. From a new dad in Indonesia sharing photos with his family, to a student in Spain checking in with her friends back home, to a doctor in Brazil keeping in touch with her patients, people rely on WhatsApp to be fast, simple and reliable.

[adrotate banner=”4″]That’s why we’re happy to announce that WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees. For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well.

Many WhatsApp users don’t have a debit or credit card number and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we’ll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service.

Naturally, people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today’s announcement means we’re introducing third-party ads. The answer is no.

Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight.

We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.

We hope you enjoy what’s coming to WhatsApp, and we look forward to your feedback.

So there you have it – the white flag officially making WhatsApp free once again.

Of course, nothing in life is truly free. WhatsApp will have to figure out another way to monetise their platform. You can’t blame them – they have to make a living!

Until then, enjoy! 😀

 

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