The Trump administration is privately seeking to reassure US companies including Apple that they can still do business with the WeChat messaging app in China, Bloomberg reported on Friday citing several people familiar with the matter.
Senior administration officials have been reaching out to some companies, realizing that the impact of an all-out ban on the popular app could be devastating for US technology, retail, gaming, telecommunications and other industries, people familiar with the discussions said.
Apple is one of the companies that could stand to lose the most from the WeChat ban because China represents a fifth of its sales, the report said.
Shortly after the WeChat ban was issued, more than a dozen major US multinational corporations, including Apple and Disney, held conference calls with White House officials to raise concerns about the potential impact and scope of the ban issued by Trump in response to WeChat, which could weaken the companies' competitiveness.
In addition, the US WeChat Users Alliance, a non-profit group founded by five Chinese-American lawyers days after the executive order was announced, plans to file a lawsuit on Friday in the District Court for the Northern District of California to have the ban overturned.
Michael Bien, co-founding partner at San Francisco-based law firm Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, was retained by the group to lead the lawsuit.
"The Trump ban ... is going to stop [US WeChat users'] use of something that is so fundamental in their lives," said Bien, who has nearly three decades of experience in commercial litigation, class actions, constitutional and civil rights law.
A survey earlier this month showed that 95 percent of 1.2 million people said they would switch to an Android phone rather than give up WeChat if it were banned.
WeChat has more than 1.2 billion monthly active users, most of them from China.