A US court of appeals in San Francisco on Monday rejected the US Justice Department's request to maintain a preliminary injunction, preventing the government from banning Apple and Google from listing WeChat on their US app stores, and marking the third time the Trump administration has lost a WeChat case.
The success is an important milestone not just for WeChat in the US, but for all Chinese people in the country, who face increasing levels of discrimination after the Trump administration began suing Chinese tech companies in the name of national security.
Three judges in the US court reached a unanimous agreement to deny the pending appeal from the government, suggesting that the appellants have not demonstrated that they will suffer an imminent, irreparable injury during the pendency of this appeal, which is being expedited, according to the legal document of the US appeals court for the ninth circuit.
This victory is more significant than the previous two given the fact that under this administration, Chinese in the US are experiencing unprecedented levels of discrimination and hostility, the US WeChat Users Alliance said in a statement on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.
From groundlessly cancelling Chinese students visa applications en masse, to arbitrarily arresting Chinese teachers in universities and attempting a blanket ban on WeChat - if they don't fight back, Chinese Americans will become the target of bias by the US government and American society, the statement said.
Despite the encouraging outcome in court, given the importance of the case, the alliance suggests there is a high possibility that the Justice Department, which has already lost three times, will appeal again in the next two days to try to block Judge Laurel Beeler's original injunction.
The alliance added that the Justice Department would next appeal in the US Supreme Court, making it the first time in American history that a litigation led by Chinese will face off against the US government in the highest court of American justice.
The alliance's legal team estimated that the Supreme Court could rule in about two weeks.
Although the appeal in the Supreme Court is expected to be the final one, it also depends on the outcome of the presidential election.
If Trump loses, the Justice Department will have less incentive and resources to continue to wrangle over the case, and if Biden loses, the litigation will continue, the alliance predicted.