A federal judge granted TikTok this Sunday a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration regarding the social network ban in the United States. As reported by the New York Times, TikTok would be banned this Monday, September 28, but now the app can remain available until a later date.
The ban was expected to become effective at midnight on Monday, forcing TikTok to be removed from the App Store and Google Play. With today’s injunction, TikTok should remain available in these stores at least until November, when a range of restrictions are expected to take effect.
The U.S. government argues that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, can send data from U.S. citizens to Chinese authorities in Beijing. TikTok requested an injunction to temporarily suspend the ban, which was granted this Sunday morning.
Lawyers for the app told Judge Nichols in a hearing on Sunday morning that forcing online stores to remove the app weeks before an election — and at a time of increased isolation because of the pandemic — would impinge on the rights of potential new users to share their views.
The Trump administration signed an executive order in August that prohibits any transactions with Chinese companies ByteDance and Tencent, so companies like Apple and Google would be forced to remove TikTok and WeChat from their App Stores. That doesn’t mean TikTok won the battle, but it now has some extra time not to affect its users until the final decision.
In the meantime, TikTok has been trying to sell its U.S. operations to national companies, including Microsoft and Oracle, but a recent report revealed that the Chinese government is opposed to this sale.
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