The Obeservation of an International Student on Progress of Chinese App Ban: State Legislation, University Policy, and the Affected Community at the UT.
Published on May 12, 2023, and last updated on November 17, 2023.
SB0834 Video, discussion on SB0834 starts from 1:55:55.
Amendment1 Video, discussion on Amendment1 starts from 37:42.
Table of contents:
- Campus Leaders’ Meeing with the University Members
- CFAAPI meeting with the Chancellor Donde Plowman and her leadership team
- UT CGE Listening session
- J. Wang’s Opinion
- UT Daily Beacon Interview
- UT Chinese App ban
- TN SB0834
Campus Leaders’ Meeting with the University Members
Campus Leaders’ Meeting.
Contact Jinning Wang at email@example.com if any copyright concerns.
At the beginning, attendees explored potential alternative apps and technologies that could be of assistance. Unfortunately, the discussion did not lead to any meaningful conclusions.
Subsequently, campus leaders introduced their ongoing pilot project aimed at helping the impacted community stay in touch with their families and friends in China. This project is expected to take a couple of weeks to complete preliminary test.
One suggestion from the students during the meeting was to consider providing financial support to the affected community as a means of mitigating the ban’s impact. However, campus leaders expressed concerns about whether university funding could be utilized in this manner.
Additionally, Jinning Wang wondered a justification for the list of banned apps, as he had been advocating for this since the beginning. The campus leaders explained that both WeChat and TikTok had been explicitly mentioned during the legislative discussion, while other apps were added based on conventions followed by other institutions.
In the end, Jinning Wang made two requests of the university: 1) A written report detailing the university’s involvement in the legislation process, internal discussions, and the criteria for app selection; 2) An email from the university expressing apologies to the impacted community for the lack of communication and demonstrating their support for the affected members.
The campus leaders agreed to comply with both requests.
CFAAPI meeting with the Chancellor Donde Plowman and her leadership team
Jinning Wang’s letter is excerpted below, and he strongly advocates for the third mitigation measure, as he believes it will benefit the entire Volunteers:
Dear University of Tennessee Campus Leaders,
I would like to offer some suggestions regarding the recent Chinese app ban policy that has been implemented at our university.
In light of the Chinese app ban policy, our university faces several potential challenges that merit attention:
Compliance with State Government: As a subordinate institution to the state government, the university is obligated to follow government decisions, regardless of the decision’s nature.
Lack of Awareness: Campus leaders may not be fully aware of the potential negative consequences associated with this policy.
Lack of Precedence: The university may not have encountered similar issues in the past, leading to uncertainty in handling this situation.
Lack of Appropriate Discussion with Impacted Communities: Adequate consultation and discussion with the communities affected by this policy may not have occurred, potentially leading to misunderstandings and concerns.
To address these challenges, I propose several mitigation measures:
Feedback Mechanism: To bridge the gap between the state government and the university’s operational realities, establishing a feedback mechanism can help convey the challenges and complexities faced by our institution due to the app ban.
Task Force: Given the busy schedules of campus leaders, forming a dedicated task force comprising experts who can thoroughly analyze the policy’s impact and potential alternatives could be more effective and practical.
Transparency through Reporting: Publish a comprehensive report detailing the timeline of the university’s involvement in the legislation process, internal discussions, and the criteria for app selection. This report would provide valuable insights to all volunteers and help create a more balanced policy.
Suspending the Controversial Policy: Considering the potential negative impact and lack of convincing justification, it may be prudent to temporarily suspend the controversial policy until further convincing evidence or justifications are provided.
Your dedication to ensuring the best interests of the university and its community is greatly appreciated. Thank you for considering these suggestions, and I look forward to seeing how we can collectively navigate this issue.
Listening session to support UT Chinese community
On May 5, Center for Global Engagement hosted a listening session to support the Chinese community. In the session, university members from various backgrounds expressed their concerns and suggesstions, which is available at Part of commonts from listening session to support UT Chinese community.
Opinion on UT Chinese app ban
On May 3, Jinning Wang shared his opinion on the University of Tennessee’s Chinese app ban, Opinion: On Chinese app ban, UT can comply with state law and protect individual rights.
Interview on the impacted Chinese community
On April 18, the [UT Daily Beacon][UT Daily Beacon] conducted a timely interview shedding light on the Chinese community directly impacted by the recent Chinese app ban. In the interview, Chinese students, who have been stripped of their communication tools due to state law, express their concerns regarding the perceived lack of support from the university. Read more about their experiences in the article, Chinese students stripped of communications by state law claim lack of university support.
UT implemented Chinese app ban
On April 14, following the signing of the law by Governor Bill Lee on April 13, Ramon Padilla, CIO and Vice Chancellor for IT and Innovation, on behalf of the University of Tennessee, sent out an email on to inform the University of Tennessee system on the newly implemented “TikTok Law.”
SB 0834 was filed for introduction
On January 30, SB0843 by Senator Jon Lundberg was filed for introduction to prohibit a public institution of higher education that provides internet access to students, faculty, staff or the general public from allowing an individual to access a video platform using the institution’s network if the video platform is owned by a company headquartered outside of the United States. On March 2, Amendment1 was made to the bill on to specify the range as social media platforms operated or hosted by a company based in the People’s Republic of China.
此外，王晋宁对被禁应用程序名单的理由提出疑问，一如该事件开始时那样。 校领导解释说，立法讨论中明确提到了 WeChat 和 TikTok，而其他应用程序是根据其他机构的惯例添加的。
4月18日，UT Daily Beacon 对最近中国应用禁令直接受影响的华人群体进行了及时采访。在采访中，由于州法律而失去通讯工具的中国学生，表达了他们对大学缺乏支持的担忧。