TikTok Files Suit Against the Trump Administration

The creators of the video-sharing app claim that its US ban was “political” in nature.

TikTok announced in a press release on Monday that it has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over an executive order banning US companies for making transactions with its Chinese parent company ByteDance from mid-September.

“The president’s actions clearly reflect a political decision to campaign on an anti-China platform,” TikTok claimed in its lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in California.

The executive order banning transactions with ByteDance stems from concerns voiced by administration officials that the company could use the app to pass users’ data to the Chinese government, a charge which ByteDance denies.

President Trump has stipulated that TikTok can continue to operate provided that ByteDance sells it to a US firm. He has also demanded that the US Treasury receive a “substantial amount of money” as part of the deal.

“The president’s demands for payments have no relationship to any conceivable national security concern and serve only to underscore that defendants failed to provide plaintiffs with the due process required by law,” TikTok wrote in its suit.

The company’s press release elaborated further. “We do not take suing the government lightly,” it wrote, “however we feel we have no choice but to take action to protect our rights, and the rights of our community and employees.”

One of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world, TikTok has been downloaded moroe than a billion times worldwide and has over 90 million US users. Since the Trump administration’s executive order was issued, various tech companies including Microsoft, Oracle and Twitter have begun negotiations to potentially take over TikTok’s US operations.

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