Judge Blocks TikTok US App Store Ban

TikTok has temporarily avoided being banned in the US, after a US judge issued an injunction blocking a US administration order that would have barred Apple and Google’s app stores from offering the social media app.

The administration’s order was set to take effect at midnight, Washington D.C. local time, on Sunday.

Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued the preliminary injunction late on Sunday.

He said in a brief statement that he declined “at this time” to block further restrictions set to take effect on 12 November that affect technical and business arrangements needed for the app to function properly.

Image credit: US government

Reprieve

The administration’s executive order would have allowed existing TikTok users to continue using the app, while banning new downloads.

Nichols’ opinion was sealed, meaning no reason was initially given.

TikTok said it welcomed the injunction and would continue to defend its rights.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” the company, owned by China’s ByteDance, said in a statement.

TikTok had argued in a lawsuit that forcing it off US app stores would violate the First and Fifth Amendments of the US Constitution, which protect freedom of speech and due legal process.

The US government’s lawyers argued the app was a “mouthpiece” for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The ruling comes one week after another Chinese app, WeChat, was given a similar last-minute reprieve by a US court.

Forced sale

The US administration is seeking to force ByteDance to sell TikTok to a US firm, or to shut down the app’s US operations.

The government argues TikTok’s collection of data on US citizens poses a national security threat.

ByteDance denies handing such data to the Chinese government or that it poses a security risk.

The Chinese government is against a forced sale of TikTok, reportedly preferring that the app be shut down.

Negotiations are currently underway in the formation of a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee the app’s US operations.

According to a preliminary deal, US firms Oracle and Walmart would have stakes in the company.

However, details of the arrangement are still being determined, and it is unknown whether the US government will approve the deal.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

Microsoft Executive Indicates Departmental Hiring Slowdown

Amid concern at the state of the global economy, a senior Microsoft executive tells staff…

2 days ago

Shareholders Sue Twitter, Elon Musk For Stock ‘Manipulation’

Disgruntled shareholders are now suing both Twitter and Elon Musk, over volatile share price swings…

2 days ago

Google Faces Second UK Probe Over Ad Practices

UK's competition watchdog launches second investigation of Google's ad tech practices, and whether it may…

2 days ago

Elon Musk Raises His Contribution To Twitter Acquisition

But one of Elon Musk's biggest backers on the Twitter board has tendered his resignation…

3 days ago

Broadcom Confirms VMware Acquisition For $61 Billion

Entry into cloud infrastructure software for US chip firm Broadcom after it confirms reports it…

3 days ago