For Mei Li, culture and community director at the Chinese Community Center in Houston’s Chinatown, there is only one app she uses to stay in touch with her parents in China.
“Every week we use WeChat to communicate,” she told Houston Public Media.
They could talk on the phone, she said. But that would cost money, and they couldn’t check in with a quick text or picture. Instead, WeChat is an easy, cost-effective way to stay connected to her family.
But that could all change. In August, President Trump issued an executive order banning “transactions” on WeChat over alleged privacy concerns. The Commerce Department hasn’t defined which transactions this would affect, but it appears people in the U.S. wouldn’t be able to download the app anymore. Trump issued the order along with another one banning Tik Tok.