ByteDance Challenges Trump Over TikTok Ban

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‘Now Donald Trump has lost the US election, are we still going to be banned?’ TikTok owner ByteDance asks in legal challenge

The Chinese owner of TikTok has filed a petition with a US Appeals Court which challenges the Trump administration’s order against it.

The Trump administration had ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok to a US buyer as part of an order from the Trump administration. This would have barred Apple and Google’s app stores from offering the social media app.

But now with Donald Trump losing the US election to Joe Biden, ByteDance is challenging the US order, that was to take effect on Thursday requiring it to divest TikTok.

Executive order

It came after US President Donald Trump on 14 August signed an executive order that would have prohibited US companies from carrying out TikTok-related deals with ByteDance after 90 days on national security grounds

That 90 day period expires on 12 November.

The Trump administration argues that TikTok poses national security concerns as the personal data of US users could be obtained by China’s government.

TikTok denies the allegations.

A number of US firms were in the running to acquire TikTok’s operations, but after rejecting Microsoft’s approach, ByteDance revealed its partnership deal with Oracle and Walmart.

Yet despite the approval of that deal by President Trump, it was reported that Beijing was unlikely to sanction the “unfair” deal that would see Oracle and Walmart purchase minority stakes in TikTok Global.

Legal challenge

And now following the defeat of President Trump in the US election, ByteDance is filing a legal challenge in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Reuters reported.

ByteDance said it is seeking a court review of the divestment order, claiming that the order and a finding by a US agency that TikTok represented a security threat were unlawful and violated rights under the US Constitution.

ByteDance is also reportedly requesting a 30-day extension on the 14 August divestment order, so that it can finalise terms of the deal with Oracle and Walmart.

“Facing continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted, we requested the 30-day extension that is expressly permitted in the August 14 order,” TikTok reportedly said in a statement.

“Without an extension in hand, we have no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights,” the company said.

The White House and Treasury declined to comment, Reuters reported.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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