- TikTok was supposed to be banned in the United States from 11:59 PM Sunday.
- The US government once raised national security concerns about TikTok.
- TikTok believes that the US government's ban is not purely worried about national security, but for political considerations.
A US district court judge issued a provisional order on Sunday night preventing the Department of Commerce’s ban against TikTok from taking effect. However, Judge Carl Nichols declined “at this time” to rule against another ban, due to take effect on November 12.
The ban was supposed to take effect at 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday. This means that TikTok will not be removed from the Google and Apple app stores, for the time being. However, as a result of Judge Nichols refusing to rule on a subsequent ban, American users may not be able to use TikTok in the country after November 12.
Earlier, the U.S. Department of Justice stated that if the court issued an interim order to allow Americans to continue downloading TikTok, it would be equivalent to interfering with the president’s national security decision, and it may also affect the review of TikTok transactions by the U.S. Foreign Investment Commission.
The U.S. Department of Justice also agrees with the U.S. government’s view that allowing people to continue to download TikTok will cause sensitive and valuable user information to continue to flow into the hands of ByteDance.
Attorney John E. Hall, who represented TikTok at the hearing, said that the US government’s ban was “unprecedented” and “irrational.” He asked during the hearing:
“How can the U.S. government issue a TikTok ban on the same night that several companies are still negotiating the TikTok transaction case? This is a punitive ban. In my opinion, this ban There is no urgency that needs immediate effect.”
The US government once raised national security concerns about TikTok, worrying that it would collect personal information of nearly 100 million American users and even hand it over to the Chinese government.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on September 19 that it would postpone the effective time of the TikTok ban, hoping to allow ByteDance, Walmart, and Oracle to complete the relevant negotiations on the transaction.
However, TikTok believes that the US government’s ban is not purely worried about national security, but for political considerations for the upcoming general election in November.
TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, said on September 20 that they had reached a preliminary agreement with Walmart and Oracle for the shareholding of the new company, TikTok Global. The new company will take charge of TikTok’s operations in the United States.
At present, these companies are still negotiating on the details of the transaction, trying to eliminate the concerns of the US and Chinese governments about the transaction.
In addition, TikTok said that the U.S. government will restrict any transactions it conducts with Americans, which will take effect on November 12. The company believes that once the ban takes effect, TikTok is equivalent to being completely banned in the United States.
On Saturday, a judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit initiated by three TikTok content creators. They originally hoped to prohibit the US government’s TikTok ban from taking effect through the lawsuit.