World

‘It’s So Essential’: WeChat Ban Makes U.S.-China Standoff Personal

Other folks stated they have been scrambling to search out options to WeChat. Sirui Hua, 29, a resident of Jersey City, N.J., advised household and mates in China to join QQ, a messaging app additionally owned by Tencent. He can be planning to make use of Apple’s FaceTime to video chat together with his mother and father in China. But it’s onerous to duplicate the expertise of WeChat, the place he has greater than 2,000 contacts, he stated.

Every Saturday night, Mr. Hua’s mother and father, who stay in Jiangsu Province close to Shanghai, message him — their solely baby — on WeChat for a one-hour video chat. Lately, they’ve warned him to remain residence and to all the time put on his masks as coronavirus charges improve within the United States. It’s a reversal from early this yr, he stated, when he warned his mother and father to remain residence in China due to hovering an infection charges there.

During the pandemic, WeChat has been a very necessary line of connection, he stated. Mr. Hua has his WeChat desktop app open in the course of the day, getting messages from dozens of mates in China. His telephone app is the place he sees the app’s scrolling Moments feed, just like a Facebook Timeline, which retains him up to date on how they’re doing.

Other WeChat customers within the United States depend on the service to communicate with prospects or preserve necessary cultural traditions.

Hong Allen, 53, works for Usana Health Sciences, a dietary and dietary complement firm that’s based mostly in Salt Lake City and has operations in China. Most of her shoppers and prospects are in China, and he or she makes use of WeChat to speak with them. Now, she is afraid she is going to lose all her contacts.

“I really don’t know what to do,” stated Ms. Allen, a resident of Vancouver, Wash. “How do I live?”

Huajin Wang, 43, of Pittsburgh, makes use of WeChat to ship a digital purple envelope of cash — a Chinese custom of giving a money present in purple packets for particular events or holidays — to family and friends. The U.S. restrictions would stop that small however significant gesture, she stated.

“It’s just a small amount, like 50 cents a person, but it is a tradition and sending it make me feel connected to these traditions,” Ms. Wang stated.

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