The US government and ByteDance-owned TikTok are heading for a showdown as the Chinese company has filed a lawsuit at a federal court challenging its ban. Recall that President Trump had released a separate Executive Order on August 14 giving TikTok a 90-day period to divest its operations in the US.
Though, the company is reportedly in talks with a couple of would-be buyers including Oracle and Microsoft, its latest decision to head to the court could open an entirely new chapter in the whole saga that could drag on for a while. “Today we are filing a complaint in federal court challenging the Administration’s efforts to ban TikTok in the US,” the company said on Monday.
TikTok explained its position through a blog post where it announced the decision to file a lawsuit challenging the decision by Trump. Frankly, there is nothing new in what the company is saying—most of the content of its blog post bothered on its previous defense; using the occasion as previously done to maintain its innocence.
Going to a federal court, will however, afford the Chinese-owned app the opportunity to not only challenger the US ban, but also present its side of the story from a legal perspective. The company said it “strongly disagree with the Administration’s position that TikTok is a national security threat.
“Now is the time for us to act. We do not take suing the government lightly, however we feel we have no choice but to take action to protect our rights, and the rights of our community and employees; TikTok explained in the official blog post. “In our complaint we make clear that we believe the Administration ignored our extensive efforts to address its concerns, which we conducted fully and in good faith even as we disagreed with the concerns themselves.”
The company said the Executive Order does not only ignore due process, it also “authorizes the prohibition of activities that have not been found to be “an unusual and extraordinary threat,” as required by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), under which the Administration is purportedly acting.”
Finally, the company said the ban leaves it with no choice but to go to court to challenge since it serves as a threat to thousands of American jobs, and “harming” millions of people who turn to the app for entertainment, connection and legitimate livelihood.
A couple of weeks ago, a leaked document had stated how Trump’s executive order could cut off the China-owned app from the app stores. Furthermore, this could affect TikTok’s revenue as advertising on the platform could become illegal.
Citing a leaked White House document, Reuters reported that the US government is considering disrupting major aspects of the app’s operations and funding. This may not be unconnected with rising security and privacy fears over the safety of personal data being handled by TikTok.