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US Will ‘Vigorously Defend’ Ban Order Against TikTok Despite Court Ruling

US Will ‘Vigorously Defend’ Ban Order Against TikTok Despite Court Ruling
An executive order that aims to ban all transaction with the Chinese owned short video sharing app TikTok will be “vigorously defend” by the United States Department of Commerce, it said, following the halting of the execution of the order by a federal judge.
The Commerce Department order set to take effect on November 12 that effectively would have banned the operations of the app, owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, in the US was blocked by US District Judge Wendy Beetlestone on Friday last week.
It would “comply with the injunction … but intends to vigorously defend the [executive order] and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges”, the US Commerce Department said on Sunday.
In the order, Beetlestone asked the YS administration to not prevent data hosting within the US for TikTok or bar its content delivery services and other technical transactions related to the app.
According to the administration of the US president Donald Trump, the Chinese app poses a threat to the national security of the country because personal data of about 100 million American users of the app that lies with the company could be handed over to the Chinese government.
The allegations have been denied by TikTok and its owner ByteDance.
The executive order of the US administration is being fought by ByteDance while at the same time it is also trying to ink a deal for selling off a stake in TikTok to US-based companies to ally US concerns over data privacy and data security.
Negotiations for finalization of a preliminary deal for US retail giant Walmart Inc and US software maker Oracle Corp is currently on going. According to some details of the proposed deal as available in the public domain, these two American companies are to take up a stake each in a new company that is being created, called TikTok Global, which would be responsible for US operations of the app.
Trump had said last month the deal had his “blessing.”
In order to resolve outstanding security concerns over its planned stake sale, ByteDance is working with US regulators, the Bloomberg news agency reported last month. Those companies that are part of the deal are getting ready for the approval process to go well past the US presidential elections of November 3, according to people familiar with the matter.
The US has been accused of bullying by China and has threatened to take countermeasures.
The “government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical,” wrote Judge Beetlestone in Friday’s federal court ruling.
Previously, the US the Commerce Department had passed on order to prevent TikTok for download by new users by ordering Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google app stores to remove the app form their app stores. ByteDance had filed a suit to stop that from happening. In that suit a preliminary injunction was delivered by US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington, DC, on September 27.
 That order had been set to take effect later that day.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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