Cringely Predicts the U.S. Can’t Stop WeChat

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    An anonymous reader quotes long-time technology pundit Robert Cringely: Forty-five days from now, we’re told, President Trump will shut down TikTok and WeChat. TikTok, maybe, but WeChat? Impossible… Trump has a chance of taking down TikTok, the short form video sharing site, because that service is dependent on advertising. He can force the app out of U.S. app stores (though not out of foreign ones) and he can cut off the flow of ad dollars… at least those dollars that flow through American pockets. But there are workarounds, I’m sure, even for TikTok and 45 days is a lot of time to come up with them. So maybe the service will be sold to Microsoft or maybe not. In either case I’m sure TikTok will survive in some form. WeChat, on the other hand, will thrive. WeChat, if you haven’t used it, is the mobile operating system for China. It’s an app platform in its own right that is used for communication, entertainment, and commerce. Imagine Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, Venmo, Skype, Uber, Gmail and eBay all in a single application. That’s WeChat. It’s even a third-party application platform, so while U.S. banks operate on the Internet, Chinese banks operate on WeChat. Shutting WeChat down in the U.S. would be a huge blow to WeChat’s parent company, TenCent, and a huge blow to the Chinese diaspora. Except it won’t work. To defeat President Trump, all WeChat users need is a Virtual Private Network and any WeChat users already in the U.S. already have a VPN to defeat the much more formidable Great Firewall of China. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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