TikTok to Launch Legal Action Against Trump Administration

As predicted, TikTok is taking the Trump administration to court over the President’s Executive Order which will effectively ban the app in the US.

The order, which was issued on August 6, alleged that the social firm’s data collection on large numbers of US citizens exposes them to Communist Party efforts to build “dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”

It also argued that the app “reportedly” censors content unpopular among China’s leaders and could be used to spread misinformation. The Commerce secretary now has 45 days to come up with a list of currently ill-defined “transactions” involving TikTok owner ByteDance that should be banned.

In a new statement sent to Infosecurity, TikTok said it was taking legal action — that it had worked "in good faith" to try and allay Trump's concerns, but that it had been deprived of due process. It also argued that the administration "tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses."

“To ensure that the rule of law is not discarded, and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system,” TikTok said.

Any challenge, however, would not impact Trump’s decision to force a sale of the app in the US to an American company. That order came on August 14 and is not subject to judicial review.

These latest moves by the Trump administration, which included a similar ban on wildly popular messaging platform WeChat (Weixin) in the States, can be seen as part of a wider attempt to remove what are considered untrustworthy Chinese apps from the US.

However, they can also be viewed as an attempt to portray Trump as “strong on China” in the run up to the next Presidential election in November.

Among the suitors lined up with ByteDance for potential acquisition talks are Microsoft and Oracle.

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