Biden Administration Pauses TikTok Ban

The DOJ has asked federal appeals courts to put government appeals of lower court rulings on hold pending review.

A Trump-era bid by the US government to ban social media app TikTok were put on hold on Wednesday, indicating that the Biden administration is backing off the pressure on the company.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) told appeals courts for the Third Circuit and the District of Columbia to freeze government appeals of lower court rulings that blocked restrictions imposed on TikTok parent company ByteDance by the Trump Administration.

Under former President Donald Trump, the US Commerce Department sought to ban Apple and Google app stores from hosting the TikTok app and bar technical transactions necessary to its operation in the US. Yesterday, the DOJ said in court filings that the Commerce Department “plans to conduct an evaluation of the underlying record justifying those prohibitions”.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a Wednesday briefing that there is no specific timetable for the Biden administration’s review of TikTok and other issues related to Chinese companies.

Aside from ByteDance, the previous US administration levied restrictions against many Chinese-owned tech firms, citing their potential use by the Chinese government to obtain the private data of US citizens.

The move by the Trump administration to ban TikTok led to the proposal of a deal where US companies Walmart and Oracle would take over the app’s US operations. However, the terms of this agreement were not fully revealed, and its status during the current round of reviews is unknown.

TikTok, which has over 100 million active US users, has denied allegations that its users’ data could be obtained by the Chinese government.

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