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Yahoo BusinessAug 07, 2020
Trump's WeChat Ban Brings Cold War With China Into a Billion Homes
(Bloomberg) -- With the stroke of a pen on Thursday night, Donald Trump made his strategic fight with China hit home for potentially billions of people -- generating confusion, panic and fear around the globe.The U.S. president's move to ban the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat beginning 45 days from now sent shockwaves through the tech industry and the many American businesses who rely on the apps to sell goods in China. Shares of WeChat's owner, China's Tencent Holdings Ltd., fell as much as 10% while the yuan weakened the most since July 22.The decision also spurred alarm on Chinese social media, with WeChat users in the U.S. posting contact information so friends and family could reach them if the app disappeared. An online forum popular with stock investors asked users if they would give up their iPhones or WeChat if Apple Inc. eliminated the app from its store: They voted to ditch their phones by a margin of 20 to one.Of all Trump's shots against China, from imposing tariffs to battling Huawei Technologies Co. to ending Hong Kong's special trading status, the executive orders against TikTok and WeChat potentially have the widest impact. Beyond the financial blow, they threaten to sever communications ties among the people of the world's biggest economies in addition to spurring a decoupling of the tech industry that could ripple around the world."This move points to a hegemonic war -- the U.S. is trying to suppress China's rise as a super power," said Yik Chan Chin, who researches global med
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