Targeting

Targeting WeChat, Trump Takes Aim at China’s Bridge to the World

A Chinese construction worker speaks during a video chat with his wife on the WeChat messaging app in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2018. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
A Chinese construction worker speaks during a video chat with his wife on the WeChat messaging app in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2018. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — In China, WeChat does more than any app rightfully should. People use it to talk, shop, share photos, pay bills, get their news and send money.

With much of the Chinese internet locked behind a wall of filters and censors, the country’s everything app is also one of the few digital bridges connecting China to the rest of the world. It is the way exchange students talk to their families, immigrants keep up with relatives and much of the Chinese diaspora swaps memes, gossip and videos.

Now that bridge is threatening to crumble.

Late Thursday, the Trump administration issued an executive order that could pull China’s most important app from Apple and Google stores across the world and

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