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The court drama that took place earlier this week, four hours before the ban on downloading the app across the U.S. went into effect, was another chapter in the ongoing saga of app approval in the U.S., the end of which still remains unclear.
The ruling marked the second time in a week that U.S. courts have rejected Trump administration attempts to block Americans’ access to Chinese-owned apps. Last week, a U.S. justice of the peace banned the popular WeChat messaging app after a group of app users sued the government.
U.S. courts will eventually be able to side with the government and allow the ban to move forward but meanwhile Judge Nichols has asked both sides to propose a timeline for more detailed arguments and in the meantime halted Trump’s ban until further notice. Which will make the app unusable for US users if the US deal is not completed by then.
Earlier this month, President Trump gave his initial blessing to the deal between BateDance and Oracle, which was supposed to remove his administration’s national security concerns from the Chinese app. The U.S. Foreign Investment Commission is still required to approve the details, including the question – who will own the app and whether the Chinese government will also be able to influence it.
A Tiktok spokeswoman responded in a statement following Judge Nichols’ decision that she was glad the court agreed to her legal arguments to stop the ban. “We will continue to defend our rights for the benefit of our community and our employees,” she said.
The Tiktok app has become very popular over the past year, especially among young people, and its downloads have climbed during the Corona plague. According to Tiktok data, more than 50 million users of the app are active in the US every day, and one hundred million new users are added to it every month.
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