TikTok Files Court Complaint To Stop Trump Ban

Video-sharing app TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance Ltd., filed a complaint in a Washington federal court challenging the prohibitory measures taken by U.S. President Donald Trump. According to Reuters, citing court documents filed late Friday, September 18, the Chinese social media network has asked a U.S. judge to block the Trump administration from banning its U.S. operations.

TikTok argues that the ban is political, and not for "national security" reasons, which is what the Trump administration maintains. Currently, TikTok has about 1,400 U.S. employees. It intended to hire 10,000 more employees in the weeks leading up to the ban. 

The U.S. Commerce Department announced that it will ban U.S. business transactions on TikTok starting Sunday, September 20. If that happens, TikTok will no longer be able to do business in the U.S. unless it manages to work out a deal. Trump didn't "sign off" on a previously announced agreement with Oracle Corp. (ORCL).

TikTok currently has more than 100 million users. Trump has pushed for the app's parent company ByteDance to sell the platform to an American company. ByteDance was reportedly seeking a $30-billion valuation for TikTok in buyout negotiations, but the company recently rejected a bid from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Walmart Inc. (WMT).

The service, popular among Gen Z, first drew the ire of Trump back in June in the weeks leading up to a political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Trump campaign said more than 1 million people expressed interest online to attend, but only about 6,000 people showed up after TikTok users apparently created phony registrations.

"The Executive Order issued by the Administration on August 6, 2020 has the potential to strip the rights of that community without any evidence to justify such an extreme action, and without any due process," TikTok said in a statement last month. "We strongly disagree with the Administration's position that TikTok is a national security threat and we have articulated these objections previously."

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