Federal Judge Halts Trump Administration’s TikTok Ban

Relief arrived hours before the social media app would have been forced off the Apple and Google App Stores.

On Sunday evening, a DC judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s order banning TikTok from US app stores.

Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued the injunction following a 90-minute hearing held earlier in the day. However, Nichols declined “at this time” to block an additional raft of restrictions barring American companies from providing services to TikTok, which would effectively force the app from the app stores hosting it. These orders are set to go into effect on 12 November.

Nichols’s opinion was sealed, meaning that no reason for the decision was publicly released.

In a statement, the US Commerce Department said that it would “comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so”.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” TikTok said in its own statement.

The injunction marks the latest stage in an ongoing legal saga as the Trump administration attempts to ban the rising social media giant in the US, citing concerns that it may support the Chinese Communist Party’s “malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data”.

Efforts to arrange a sale of TikTok to US software company Oracle are underway, though conclusive details have yet to be made public.

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