Legal

ByteDance Seeks Court Order Against TikTok Ban

TikTok's owner has asked a federal judge to temporarily put a stop to the President Donald Trump administration's ban on the extremely popular video-sharing app, Bloomberg reported.

The deadline for TikTok to get its sale approved is approaching this weekend, or else it will face a de facto ban Trump put in place Aug. 6 via executive order. Trump's concerns are that ByteDance, the China-owned parent of TikTok, could be leaving the door open for the Chinese government to take users' data.

There's a deal on the table for Oracle and Walmart to take control of U.S. operations of TikTok under a new company called TikTok Global. However, contentions have arisen from exactly who will own a majority stake, with ByteDance saying it would own 80 percent of the new company, while the U.S. is firm that it wants an American majority-ownership.

That deal is far from settled, too, with America's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and Chinese officials both still needing to sign off, Bloomberg reported.

If the sale does not go through, TikTok will be removed from app stores, and a core part of its functionality will be removed, which the company contends would make it effectively shut down in the U.S. by November, Bloomberg reported.

ByteDance is arguing, alongside Tencent's WeChat, which was also banned, that the national security concerns brought up by the Trump administration go too far.

But Trump's actions are part of a larger initiative against Beijing, Bloomberg reported, a tough approach that Trump is gambling will win him re-election. In addition, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pushed for U.S. companies to bar Chinese apps from app stores in an attempt to prevent Chinese authorities from accessing U.S. data.

The current proposed deal with Oracle and Walmart would give those companies stakes of 12.5 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, in TikTok Global.

In China, the state-run media has denounced the proposed deal as “an American trap” and an "underhanded trick," according to Bloomberg.

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