DOJ Appeals Block of WeChat Ban

On Friday, Oct. 2, in the Northern District of California, the Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed  Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler’s decision to block the Trump administration’s ban on Chinese-owned app WeChat to the Ninth Circuit; the ban would have prohibited U.S. app stores from offering the app for download or updates, while banning other transactions involving the app. This move comes after the President issued an Executive Order in August banning all transactions with the app, which resulted in a lawsuit against the administration.

On Sept. 25, the DOJ stated that “(t)he Court’s preliminary injunction permits the continued unfettered use of WeChat, a mobile application that the Executive Branch has determined constitutes a threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Meanwhile, on Friday, the plaintiffs filed an opposition to the DOJ’s motion to stay pending appeal claiming that the defendants’ “newly submitted evidence does not justify granting a stay” and that the defendants have not met the standard for a stay. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants have not demonstrated that there is a strong likelihood of success on the merits nor have they shown irreparable harm caused by the preliminary injunction that blocked the ban, which “merely preserves the status quo.” The plaintiffs averred that they would be irreparably harmed by a stay. Additionally, the plaintiffs stated that the court concluded currently in its determination that “the public interest warrants a preliminary injunction.” Moreover, the plaintiffs argued that no partial stay should be granted and that the preliminary injunction should not be modified. The plaintiffs also stated that the “defendants offer no rationale to now stay the order’s nationwide effect.” Subsequently, the “defendants’ request for bond should be denied.”

The Ninth Circuit filed that it has received the notice of appeal.   

The plaintiffs are represented by Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP along with Deheng Law Offices PC, AFN Law PLLC, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

On Sept. 27, Judge Carl J. Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia also blocked the Trump administration from banning TikTok.