TikTok stays in app stores as U.S. judge temporarily blocks ban

A federal judge in Washington has granted TikTok’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Thereby preventing President Trump’s TikTok ban from taking effect September 27 as originally expected.

Judge Carl J. Nichols made the ruling on the evening of Sunday, September 27. Just hours before the popular TikTok app was set to be pulled from app stores by Apple and Google.

It means that for the time being at least, anyone who hasn’t yet downloaded the app will be able to do so. It also means that TikTok will be able to continue to push updates to the app.

The court will now assess whether the TikTok app is a risk to national security. It is the reason Trump gave when signing an executive order in August to ban the software unless an American company bought its U.S. operations.

Only the court’s ruling was made public, with the reasoning provided only to the government and TikTok. The ruling will, however, be made publicly available once both parties have submitted requests for any redactions.

TikTok stays in app stores as U.S. judge temporarily blocks ban

The original date of the app’s ban was set for September 20. But a tentative deal between TikTok and U.S. software giant Oracle announced on September 19. And it prompted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to push the ban to September 27.

With the clock ticking and no further delay or removal of the proposed ban announced by the U.S. government. TikTok lawyers moved on Sunday to urge the judge to block the ban until the matter of TikTok’s future can be properly resolved.

TikTok lawyers argued that the proposed ban was “arbitrary and capricious”. And it could have an adverse on the security of data as it would prevent any required fixes from reaching the app via updates.

TikTok also claimed that the proposed ban would “prohibit core constitutionally protected speech: videos composed by millions of Americans containing a vast array of individual expression, ranging from art to political speech.”

But lawyers for the government said the ban was valid. Because TikTok’s connections to the Chinese government via its parent company ByteDance made it a national security issue.

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TikTok Sale To A US Company Put At Risk By New Chinese Tech Rules

New technology export rules in China could affect TikTok sale to a US company


Chinese officials have changed their rules on exporting technology. So, this is a move that could complicate a potential TikTok sale to a US company.

China updated the country’s export-control rules on August 28. To cover what it considered sensitive technologies. Including, possibly, the popular video apps personalized recommendation engine.

TikTok Sale To A US Company

Plans for a TikTok sale may have a new obstacle. With China implementing new rules on AI technology exports. The new export control rules, which focus on technology the Chinese government considers sensitive. So, could mean that TikTok’s parent company. Beijing-based ByteDance, might need a license before it can sell TikTok to an American company.

The updated regulations prohibit exporting technology including text analysis, voice recognition. And content suggestions without a license from the Chinese government. So, ByteDance should “seriously and cautiously” consider halting talks for a sale of TikTok.

President Trump has demanded an American company purchase TikTok’s US business

President Trump signed an executive order August 6th blocking all transactions with ByteDance. And has demanded that an American company purchase TikTok’s US business. The order was intended to take effect within 45 days. Then on August 14th, the president signed an order giving ByteDance 90 days to sell or spin off TikTok in the US. And, the culmination of an investigation of the company by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS). Which oversees foreign acquisitions of US companies for any potential security risks.

TikTok sale to a US business

If the ban against transactions were to go into effect. Apple and Google would no longer be able to list the app in their respective app stores.

So far, Microsoft, Oracle and “a third US company” have made bids on TikTok. (Microsoft was pursuing a deal for TikTok’s operations in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.)

But the news about the export-control rules could make corporate shoppers nervous. Because, Beijing’s displeasure alone could scare off TikTok’s suitors. And many of whom have operations in China.

The wildly popular video-sharing platform hit 2 billion downloads globally in April. With 315 million downloads in the first quarter of the year alone.

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