WeChat Should Not Be Banned
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On July 12th, White House Advisor Peter Navarro said to “expect strong action” for the apps TikTok and WeChat, and that the Trump administration wouldn’t rule out banning them.
TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with others, and is generally used mostly for entertainment, whereas WeChat’s primary function is to facilitate communication between people, which renders it especially useful when they are separated by the entire Pacific ocean. Chinese Americans can sacrifice one entertainment app among the many that are available, but they cannot give up the only social media app linking them to their families in China. In this regard, access to WeChat should not be restricted in the US.
Now, amidst this ongoing pandemic, WeChat plays a more important role than ever before in helping family members stay connected and updated. According to the Institute of International Education, there are around 360,000 Chinese students who are currently studying abroad in the US, and according to the US Census Bureau (as of 2018), there are almost 4.5 million Chinese Americans living in the US. If WeChat were to be banned, close to 5 million people would be severely impacted, because for the vast majority of them, this is the only effective way that they can keep in touch with their family.
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