U.S. court agrees to expedite government TikTok app store ban appeal

Joanna Estrada
October 17, 2020

The US appeals court in Washington on Wednesday agreed to complete a fast-track hearing on the Justice Department's appeal on a ruling that barred the government from banning downloads of Chinese app TikTok from Apple and Google's app stores for new users.

US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington blocked the download ban on Sept 27, ruling that the US likely exceeded its legal authority under the emergency powers statute it invoked to justify the prohibition.

TikTok's bid to stave off a shutdown came as its parent company, ByteDance, tried to finalize a deal to spin off the app's American operations. The Trump administration moved to appeal the judge's September 27 ruling last week.

A federal judge in San Francisco prevented similar restrictions from taking effect, which would prevent the use of Tencent's WeChat app.

The US government is concerned that TikTok could share the users' content and data with the Chinese Communist Party.

Nichols plans to hold a hearing on November 4 on allowing the USA government to block transactions with TikTok, which it has warned will effectively ban the app's use in the United States.

"There would be permanent, devastating harm to TikTok's user base and competitive position, even if the government ban were to be lifted after a period of weeks or months", TikTok said in the Wednesday filing.

Shuttering the app on November 12 as at the moment scheduled would additionally "destroy" TikTok's relationships with advertisers and trigger a "large lower" within the quantity of content material accessible on the platform globally, which might harm its capacity to draw and retain customers, the corporate argues.

The Chinese language-owned platform made the allegation in a courtroom submitting asking a federal decide to dam US Commerce Division guidelines that may successfully shut down the app subsequent month if it's not taken over by American traders.

Moreover, the government has not provided any evidence to support the claims that Beijing has ever obtained access to any United States user data, TikTok lawyers said.

A United States appeals court in Washington said all briefs are due by November 12 with oral arguments to follow. The government is expected to file its arguments by 23rd October with oral arguments set for 4th November.

Last month, a U.S. federal judge prevented president Donald Trump and his administration from banning TikTok downloads, as they granted temporary protection. ByteDance also said: Any deal needs China's approval.

Negotiations are underway for Walmart and Oracle to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee USA operations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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