NEWS28 September 2020

TikTok wins court ruling to avert US download ban

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US – Social media app TikTok has avoided a US government downloads ban after a district judge overturned an executive order.

TikTok app

TikTok had faced being removed from Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play marketplaces at midnight, but an injunction was issued by the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Sunday evening.

The decision by Judge Carl Nichols followed a 90-minute hearing. The reasons for the court’s ruling have not been publicly disclosed.

The attempts to ban the platform were prompted by concerns that data from TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, could be shared with the Chinese government.

The proposed US ban would have allowed existing users of TikTok to continue using the app, but prevented new downloads.

Users would have been unable to re-download the app nor have been offered software updates under the terms of the proposed ban.

Earlier this month, TikTok agreed to set up a new company, TikTok Global, to run its US business and has committed to launching a future initial public offering (IPO).

As part of the agreement, cloud and technology provider Oracle and US supermarket giant Walmart would take part in a financing round where they could both acquire up to 20% of the company.

However, President Trump has said he would not accept a deal that did not cede complete control of the app to the US. The Chinese government has also not yet ruled on the deal.

A TikTok spokesperson said: “We're pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban. We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees.

“At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.”