The United States Commerce Department’s order banning Apple and Google app stores from offering TikTok app for new downloads was set to take effect Sunday, 27th September but a US Judge has now blocked that decision.
On Thursday, US District Judge Carl Nichols said the US government must either delay the ban or file legal papers defending its decision to ban ByteDance app, TikTok. Nichols wants a response from the US government to the preliminary injunction request by TikTok or delay the ban order by 2:30 p.m. EDT on Friday.
Fellow Chinese-owned app, Tencent Holdings’ WeChat got a similar favourable decision in San Francisco when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Trump-led administration ban order. The US Commerce Department promised to challenge the court order but no appeal has been filed by the government lawyers.
The ban order on TikTok by the Trump administration is borne out of concerns that the personal data of more than 100 million Americans was being shared with China’s Communist Government Party government. TikTok however feels otherwise saying the restictions “were not motivated by a genuine national security concern, but rather by political considerations relating to the upcoming general election.”
In other to ease security concerns and improve transparency, ByteDance is owning 80% of TikTok Global, a newly established company registered in the US. which will control most of the app’s global operation. TikTok Global will also become a subsidiary of ByteDance. Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc have also agreed 12.5% and 7.5% stakes respectively in TikTok Global.