Judge temporarily blocks Trump administration ban on TikTok

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U.S. investigations of TikTok gather steam.
TikTok's not going anywhere... yet.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

The TikTok story has taken another twist as a Washington judge has blocked the Trump administration’s ban on the popular short-form video app. The ban on the Chinese app would have kicked in at 11:59pm on Sunday. TikTok now has a stay of execution until at least November.

US district judge Carl Nichols granted a preliminary injunction to TikTok owners ByteDance. Nichols declined to block additional commerce department restrictions on the app “at this time.”

The Commerce Department says that it “will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps” to do so. It did not say whether the government would be appealing the decision.

ByteDance said in September that it has come to an early agreement with Walmart and Oracle to take a stake in its U.S. operations. Trump gave the deal his approval. However, negotiations continue. According to a report, the Chinese government is staunchly opposed to the deal, and would rather see TikTok banned altogether.

TikTok is popular… but the clock is ticking

TikTok is among the most popular apps in the App Store. In the first three months of 2020, it enjoyed the best quarter of any app ever. In the U.S., it currently has around 100 million monthly users.

The Trump administration’s main issue with TikTok involves alleged security issues. Speaking with Fox News in July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that people should only download TikTok, “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Source: Guardian