US judge blocks Trump administration's ban on new TikTok downloads

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Sep 28, 2020, 03:13 PM(IST)

US and TikTok Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Trump's administration contends that Chinese-owned TikTok poses national security concerns as personal data collected on 100 million Americans who use the app could be obtained by China's government.

A US judge has temporarily blocked a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google from offering short video-sharing app TikTok for download at 11:59 pm on Sunday.

Trump's administration contends that Chinese-owned TikTok poses national security concerns as personal data collected on 100 million Americans who use the app could be obtained by China's government. Any deal will also still need to be reviewed by the US government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington issued the preliminary injunction in a brief order late on Sunday. He declined "at this time" to block restrictions set to take effect on November 12 on technical and business arrangements which are crucial for the app to function properly.

The Commerce Department said in a statement it "will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so."

The injunction comes at a time when negotiations are underway to hammer out terms of a preliminary deal for Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee US operations. Trump has said he had given the deal his "blessing."

But key terms of the deal, including who will have majority ownership, are in dispute.

ByteDance has also said any deal will need to be approved by China and Beijing has revised its list of technologies subject to export bans, in a way that gives it a say over any TikTok deal.

TikTok said it was pleased with the injunction and added it would maintain its "ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last week, into an agreement."

Representatives for Chinese state media welcomed the ruling.

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