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Today: The lowdown on banned downloads, the week’s top stories and museums’ desperate measures.  

What happened today?

The Trump administration is moving ahead with a ban on the use of both TikTok and the messaging app WeChat in the U.S. starting on Sunday. The administration says it is concerned that American users’ data — a lot of it (“vast swaths” in the words of the Commerce Department) — could be accessed by the Chinese government.

Calling WeChat a“messaging app,” though, doesn’t totally cover it

“WeChat pay is the world’s largest payments platform,” Dan Wang, associate professor of business at Columbia Business School, told Marketplace. “This is so ubiquitous that if you are a visitor to China, and you don’t have a WeChat account, it is very difficult to pay for anything.”

Once the ban goes ahead, millions of users in the U.S. won’t be able to make payments on WeChat — many of whom use the platform to do business in China. Tencent, the owner of WeChat, said today it had submitted a proposal to address the government’s security concerns.

Today on Marketplace Tech

How constant surveillance puts protesters at risk
After-the-fact arrests can have a chilling effect on free speech and lead to cases of mistaken identity. (Listening time, 12:02)


My Economy

Jaheem Lewis, 18, says he’s always liked to build. He’s part of a group of teenage boys taking part in a summer training program at Carver Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore, Maryland, teaching basic carpentry skills like safety, construction math and how to use tools. 

It’s a partnership between the Home Builders Institute, Baltimore City Public Schools and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. “I built my sister a little dollhouse,” Lewis said. “Before my father passed, he been building stuff. So I’ve been looking up to him and now, look at me, I’m here.”

Lewis will finish with an industry-recognized certificate that could lead to an entry-level job. He was just 11 years old when his father died, and he’s been in and out of detention since then. “I just had to turn my life around,” he said. As a father of two young children, “I got more to look forward to now,” he said. “I’m trying to be better.”

The Weekly Wrap

Here are some of the week’s top stories.

Final Note

Museums are under considerable financial strain this year, with massive budget deficits abounding and smaller operations faced with permanent closure. One way out? Selling art (a curatorial faux-pas in ordinary times). Take the Brooklyn Museum, which will be the first major museum in the U.S. to sell its art to pay for its operating costs. It’s auctioning 12 pieces from its permanent collection next month. You might see something you like.

No sensationalism. No fearmongering. Just facts.

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