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TikTok Preparing To Challenge Trump’s Ban Order In Court: Reuters

TikTok Preparing To Challenge Trump’s Ban Order In Court: Reuters
The Chinese owned short video sharing app TikTok is getting redy ot file a legal suit to challenge the executive order prohibiting transactions by United States President Donald Trump against it as well as it Chinese owner ByteDance, claimed a report published by the news agency Reuters. 
The report said that a legal challenge can be mounted by the Chinese app as early as on Monday in the US.
In an executive order passed by Trump on August 14, the Chinese company ByteDance was given a period of 90 days to sell of the US operations of TikTok. Negotiations about a possible sell off of the app are currently underway between ByteDance and some US companies including with Microsoft Corp and Oracle. It has also been reported that the bidding process for TikTok could also involve some of the US investors of ByteDance.
According to the report quoting sources, the legal challenge being planned by TikTok is related to a previous executive order from Trump that was issued on August 6. Under that order, the Secretary of Commerce was ordered to draw up a list of transactions involving ByteDance and its holding companies that should come under ban after 45 days.
Sources have reportedly told Reuters that the argument to be put forward in court by TikTok against the August 6 executive order would be that the order was based on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act which prevents completion of due process.   Classifying TikTok as a national security threat by the White House would also be contested by the app.
The report however did not mention the court where TikTok plans to file the case. Previously the company had said that it was preparing to file a law suit against the executive order while its employees were also separately preparing to do so.
According to some US officials and law markers, there are grave concerns about the personal information of the users of the app, which is best known for its anodyne videos of people dancing and going viral among teenagers, could be handed over to Chinese authorities on orders of Beijing.
No comments on the report were available from ByteDance and the White House.
The report also quoted sources saying that ByteDance would not be shielded from having to divest the app because of TikTok’s legal challenge. This is because the planned law suit is not related to the executive order of August 14 pertaining to the sale of TikTok which is not subject to judicial review.
The latest move however shows that ByteDance is ready to deploy all the legal options that it has with it in its efforts to stop the negotiations to sell off TikTok turning into a fire sale.
In recent weeks, the Trump administration has been pushing its efforts to take out those Chinese apps that it deems to be “untrusted”, from the digital networks in the country. In addition to the action against TikTok and ByteDance, the Trump administration has also banned transactions of American companies or entities with Chinese chat app WeChat owned by China’s Tencent Holding Ltd.


Christopher J. Mitchell

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