By WSJ Noted. 

Everyone wants to know about: TikTok and WeChat

TikTok and WeChat users in the U.S. have been granted a reprieve from potential bans, but for different reasons. TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., will partner with Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. to become a U.S.-based company.

Bytedance and Oracle have given dueling messages about the ownership structure for a proposed U.S.-based version of TikTok. The squabble raises fresh questions about the fragility of the deal, which President Trump signed off on in principle over the weekend, seemingly saving the popular video-sharing app from extinction in the U.S. Officials in China will also have to sign off on the transaction.

Separately, a federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration's executive order curbing Americans' use of WeChat, owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd. The ban would have restricted U.S. users from downloading the app as well as engaging in other functions on WeChat, as of 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said in an order: "WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat." The app, which has 19 million regular users in the U.S., could still be banned if the government files an appeal to the ruling to put the issue before another judge. It could take some time for a final ruling on the ban to happen.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2020 18:49 ET (22:49 GMT)

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