An American judge decided to keep the TikTok application on the mobile application download platforms in the United States, thereby suspending the order given by the administration of Donald Trump. The White House will appeal.
A few hours before the decision took effect, magistrate Carl Nichols ruled in favor of TikTok.
The federal judge of the District of Columbia thus granted the request of the lawyers of the Chinese firm, which wanted a temporary block of the possible ban while the two parties face each other in court.
The White House said it will respect the court order that prevents the ban on the TikTok application on mobile application download platforms in the United States, but has announced it will appeal the decision.
Carl Nichols’ decision is yet another episode in a dispute that began in August, when U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order threatening to ban US TikTok, should the company that owns it, China ByteDance, fail to do so. sell its business in the country to US companies.
According to the US president, the fact that the company is owned by a Chinese company poses a threat to national security due to links in China between the private sector and the Chinese Communist Party.
After weeks of negotiations, ByteDance reached an initial agreement with Oracle and Walmart, which received preliminary approval from the White House, but in recent days the talks were not bearing fruit and there was a real possibility that Trump would carry out his threat banning downloads of the application already this Sunday.
A few hours before the decision, on Sunday morning Carl Nichols held a hearing to hear the arguments of the Government, which claimed that TikTok is a threat because it collects data about its users and, being a Chinese company, cooperates with the Chinese secret services .
TikTok’s lawyers denied that the company shares data with Chinese authorities and argued that Trump’s goal is in reality to restrict freedom of expression.
“This case is about freedom of expression and freedom of communication. It is inherent in the business that has been targeted. TikTok is an application, but it is much more. It is a modern version of communication in the electronic age that has gained popularity especially in the pandemic,” he said. one of the company’s lawyers, Alexander Berengaut.
If the judge had not agreed with ByteDance and the White House had decided to proceed with its threat, Google and Apple, which control the two main online mobile phone stores, would have been forced to withdraw TikTok from those stores in the United States, in accordance with the presidential order.
TikTok, which has 100 million users in the US and 700 million worldwide, is one of the fastest growing social networks in recent years.