Posts tagged with "WeChat"

Trump bans TikTok, WeChat from app stores beginning September 20

September 21, 2020

In a move that will sharply raise tensions with Beijing from app—and infuriate about 100 million American active users—the Trump Administration has announced that it is banning China’s virally popular TikTok, as well as the less sought-after WeChat, from mobile app stores beginning September 20, The Washington Post reports.

On Sunday, the United States also will ban any provision of Internet hosting services that enables WeChat to be used for money transfers or mobile payments. The Administration will give TikTok until November 12 until further bans kick in.

Western companies and bankers still continue to wrangle with TikTok’s owner, the White House, and Chinese authorities to try to arrange a sale of some of TikTok’s business, the Post says. Indeed, TikTok’s partnership with a U.S. corporation— most likely Oracle—could save it in this country, but details about such decisions remain unclear.

“Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

Meanwhile, the Independent reports, TikTok denies that it has shared user data with the Chinese government, or that it would do so if asked. The company says it has not censored videos at the request of Chinese authorities and insists it is not a national-security threat.

“The President has provided until November 12 for the national security concerns posed by TikTok to be resolved. If they are, the prohibitions in this order may be lifted,” Commerce said in its statement.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

Snap plans launch of gaming platform in April

March 18, 2019

The U.S. technology and camera company, Snap, finally will introduce its widely discussed (but never-disclosed) gaming platform at a summit for content and developer partners in Los Angeles on April 4, Cheddar has reported.

The mobile game platform, internally code-named “Project Cognac,” will feature several games that outside developers have designed specifically to work in the multimedia Snapchat app, according to a person familiar with the matter, Cheddar said.

In addition, the company will launch more videos similar to the augmented reality Snap Originals that it began posting last October.

An invitation to the event that was seen by Cheddar includes the tagline, “Less talk. More play.”—a nod to the gaming platform.

To help bolster its push into the games sector, Snap last year acquired a small Australian gaming studio called Prettygreat for $8.6 million, according to financial documents obtained by Cheddar. One of the employees of Prettygreat was behind the hit mobile games “Fruit Ninja” and “Jetpack Joyride.”

Snap also already has demonstrated its interest in gaming by launching a handful of its own lightweight, augmented reality games—called Snappables— early in 2018.

A year earlier, the Chinese tech giant Tencent—known for its popular messaging platform WeChat, as well as such games as “League of Legends”—acquired roughly 10% of Snap’s publicly traded shares.

Games could provide a new source of revenue for Snap, Cheddar notes—either through in-app purchases or advertising.

A Snap spokesperson declined to comment on the record for the Cheddar story.

Research contact: @cheddar