‘It’s So Important’: WeChat Ban Makes U.S.-China Standoff Private

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Different individuals stated they had been scrambling to search out alternate options to WeChat. Sirui Hua, 29, a resident of Jersey Metropolis, N.J., informed household and associates in China to join QQ, a messaging app additionally owned by Tencent. He’s additionally planning to make use of Apple’s FaceTime to video chat together with his dad and mom in China. However it’s laborious to duplicate the expertise of WeChat, the place he has greater than 2,000 contacts, he stated.

Each Saturday night, Mr. Hua’s dad and mom, who stay in Jiangsu Province close to Shanghai, message him — their solely baby — on WeChat for a one-hour video chat. Currently, they’ve warned him to remain residence and to all the time put on his masks as coronavirus charges enhance in the US. It’s a reversal from early this yr, he stated, when he warned his dad and mom to remain residence in China due to hovering an infection charges there.

Throughout the pandemic, WeChat has been a very essential line of connection, he stated. Mr. Hua has his WeChat desktop app open through the day, getting messages from dozens of associates in China. His cellphone app is the place he sees the app’s scrolling Moments feed, just like a Fb Timeline, which retains him up to date on how they’re doing.

Different WeChat customers in the US depend on the service to be in contact with clients or keep essential cultural traditions.

Hong Allen, 53, works for Usana Well being Sciences, a dietary and dietary complement firm that’s primarily based in Salt Lake Metropolis and has operations in China. Most of her purchasers and clients are in China, and she or he makes use of WeChat to speak with them. Now, she is afraid she’s going to lose all her contacts.

“I actually don’t know what to do,” stated Ms. Allen, a resident of Vancouver, Wash. “How do I stay?”

Huajin Wang, 43, of Pittsburgh, makes use of WeChat to ship a digital pink envelope of cash — a Chinese language custom of giving a money reward in pink packets for particular events or holidays — to family and friends. The U.S. restrictions would forestall that small however significant gesture, she stated.

“It’s only a small quantity, like 50 cents an individual, however it’s a custom and sending it make me really feel linked to those traditions,” Ms. Wang stated.

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