TikTok seeks to block second round of US restrictions

Bloomberg October 15 | Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

TikTok argued that the prohibitions, like the download ban, are rooted in an improper invocation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act   -  REUTERS

On September 27 a US judge blocked the ban on new downloads imposed by the Trump administration

TikTok Inc asked a federal judge to block a broad set of government restrictions designed to curb use of the Chinese-owned video-sharing app in the US, less than three weeks after the company succeeded in halting the Trump administration’s ban on new downloads.

US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington blocked the download ban on September 27, ruling that the US likely exceeded its legal authority under the emergency powers statute it invoked to justify the prohibition. TikTok on Wednesday asked Nichols to issue an injunction against proposed rules forbidding companies from providing the underlying web services that make the app accessible in the US.

US appeals judge’s ruling that blocked US ban on TikTok downloads

If those prohibitions go into effect on November 12, people who currently have TikTok installed on their phones would still be able to use it, but the apps functionality would degrade over time. That would amount to a complete shut-down in the US., the company said in its filing, and make it harder for it to recruit employees.

There would be permanent, devastating harm to TikTok’s user base and competitive position, the company said, even if the government ban were to be lifted after a period of weeks or months.

TikTok argued that the prohibitions, like the download ban, are rooted in an improper invocation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

US judge blocks Trump administration’s TikTok app store ban

The US view

The US contends that TikTok is a national security threat because its ownership by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd. gives the Chinese government access to the personal data of millions of Americans. US President Donald Trump has demanded that ByteDance find an American buyer for TikTok, and the company is seeking US approval for a deal to sell a stake in the app to Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc.

A lawyer for TikTok argued at a hearing last month that it makes no sense for the government to ban the app while ByteDance is still in talks for the deal the President has sought.

Trump appeal

Last week, the Trump administration appealed Nichols ruling blocking the download ban to the US Court of Appeals in Washington. The court on Wednesday issued a briefing schedule for the appeals process: The government will submit an opening brief by October 16, with TikTok required to respond by November 6.

The Court of Appeals case is TikTok v. Trump, 20-5302, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia (Washington).

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on October 15, 2020
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.