NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has approved a request from a group of WeChat users to delay looming U.S. government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use.
In a ruling dated Saturday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California said the government’s actions would affect users’ First Amendment rights as an effective ban on the app removes their platform for communication.
WeChat is a messaging-focused app popular with many Chinese-speaking Americans that serves as a lifeline to friends, family, customers and business contacts in China.
It’s owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent.
As of Monday morning, WeChat was still available for download through Apple and Android app stores.