File photo: CGTN
WeChat developer Tencent has called the U.S. ban on the app starting from Sunday "unfortunate," saying the company will continue discussions with the U.S. government for a long-term solution.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday that it will ban WeChat and Tiktok from U.S. app stores on Sunday and will bar the apps from accessing essential internet services in the U.S., citing "national security" concerns.
The ban on WeChat also bars the transfer of funds or processing of payments to or from people in the U.S. through it. Users could also start to experience significantly slower service or sporadic outages from Sunday night.
"As an application serving users worldwide, WeChat has always complied with local laws and regulations. Its data policies and procedures meet the strictest privacy standards in the world," Tencent said in a statement.
To ensure American users' basic rights, the company has conducted multiple rounds of communication with the U.S. government to seek an appropriate solution, yet a consensus has not been reached between the two sides, the company said.
WeChat is an all-in-one mobile app that combines services similar to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram as well as Venmo and is essential to the daily lives of many in China, boasting more than one billion users.
According to analytics firms Apptopia, in early August, WeChat is popular among Chinese students, expats and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China, with an average of 19 million daily active users in the United States.