Biden team asks court to pause move to ban TikTok as US reviews security

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Feb 11, 2021, 01:24 PM(IST)

A file photo of the TikTok building in Culver City, California. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Commerce Department 'plans to conduct an evaluation of the underlying record justifying those prohibitions' sought by the previous administration of Donald Trump, which claimed TikTok posed a national security threat because of its links to the Chinese government

President Joe Biden's administration has asked a US federal court to pause proceedings aimed at banning TikTok to allow for a fresh review of the national security threat from the popular Chinese-owned video app. 

The filing in a federal appeals court said the new administration had begun a review and would not for the moment press for a ban of the mobile app as sought by former president Donald Trump. 

The filing said the Commerce Department 'plans to conduct an evaluation of the underlying record justifying those prohibitions' sought by the previous administration of Donald Trump, which claimed TikTok posed a national security threat because of its links to the Chinese government. 

After the new review, the administration 'will then be better positioned to determine whether the national security threat' from TikTok. 

"The Department of Commerce remains committed to a robust defense of national security as well as ensuring the viability of our economy and preserving individual rights and data privacy," the filing said. 

The Trump administration move to ban downloads of TikTok and its presence on online networks had been stalled amid legal challenges. 

In a related development, the Wall Street Journal reported the Biden administration has also put on hold a plan to force the sale of TikTok to American investors. 

The Journal, citing unnamed sources, said the Biden White House had indefinitely shelved the plan to require the sale of TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, to US tech giant Oracle with Walmart as a partner. 

The Journal said the new administration is in the midst of a review of data security and ways to prevent the information TikTok collects on American users from being accessed by the Chinese government, but that there would be no imminent move to force the sale.

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