Will WeChat ban cut US-run Macau casinos’ vital link to China clients?

Will WeChat ban cut US-run Macau casinos’ vital link to China clients?

  • The popular social messaging app is a critical communication tool for American operators in the city and their patrons in mainland China
  • Trump’s executive order may be boon for non-US operators in Macau, analysts say

US President Donald Trump’s ban on Chinese social messaging service WeChat could undermine the operations of American casino operators in Macau and cloud their future in the city, according to industry observers.

Trump issued an executive order on Thursday that will make it illegal for US citizens and corporations to conduct “any transaction that is related to WeChat”.The order is due to take effect 45 days from that date and was issued on the same day as a similar order banning TikTok, a short-video platform owned by Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance.

“Probably 95 per cent of Macau’s gaming patrons are mainland Chinese. How do you communicate with them? WeChat,” said Carlos Lobo, a Macau-based lawyer at Weir and Associates.