US judges’ rulings to stop TikTok, WeChat bans show national security claims have their limits

US judges’ rulings to stop TikTok, WeChat bans show national security claims have their limits

Recent US courts rulings that put the Trump administration’s TikTok and WeChat bans on hold were the first clear legal indications that Washington’s attempts to crack down on Chinese companies on the basis of national security have gone too far.

In the first major blow to the Trump administration in a long list of actions taken against Chinese firms, two federal judges shot down President Donald Trump’s claims that the apps threaten American security, saying there wasn’t enough evidence that the companies handed over user data to Beijing.

As the legal challenges continue, it will be difficult for the Trump administration – or potentially Joe Biden, if he wins the election – to kill the apps as the fight over them seems to be more political in nature, while concerns about Huawei Technologies and ZTE’s 5G infrastructure appear more legitimate.