Jimmy Zhou is a native of New York. His mother immigrated to the United States from Dongguan in 1982. Mother only uses WeChat. U.S. apps like WhatsApp and Signal are blocked in China, so WeChat is the only option. People like Zhou’s mother rely on WeChat, which has about 19 million active users in the United States, to stay in touch with family members overseas and the Chinese American community. Zhou, who works in mobile app development and project management, said it was easy for his generation to move from one app to another, but for less tech-savvy people like his mother, it was very difficult. Over the past few months, the U.S. government has put increasing pressure on Chinese social app TikTok. Biden asked ByteDance to sell its TikTok stake. But TikTok isn’t the only Chinese app popular in the U.S. There’s also Shein, Pinduoduo’s Temu, ByteDance’s other video-editing app CapCut, and Tencent’s WeChat. Analysts believe that if TikTok is blocked in the United States, then WeChat is likely to be next.
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