TikTok plans to sue the Trump administration as early as Tuesday in a report

TikTok, famous Chinese video-sharing app, is reportedly planning to sue the Trump administration after his executive order issued for banning the service from the United States.
August 09, 2020 | 08:33
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President Donald Trump’s ban against TikTok is a part of clean network campaign. Photo: Bloomberg

TikTok will file the federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California early next week, as soon as Tuesday to challenge President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the video-sharing service from the US as unconstitutional

NPR cited an anonymous source "directly involved in the forthcoming suit." TikTok declined to comment when USA TODAY asked for confirmation of the report.

In a statement from Friday, the company said it was "shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process, According to NPR.

The lawsuit will be filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, where TikTok’s American operations are based, NPR said, citing a person familiar with the matter whom it did not identify.

It will argue that the president’s action is unconstitutional because it failed to give the company a chance to respond and that the US government’s national-security justification for the order is baseless, according the report.

Chinese-owned TikTok responded in a blog post on Friday it is “shocked” and will pursue all remedies available, including in US courts. A company spokesman reached by phone on Saturday declined to comment on the NPR report and referred to the earlier blog post.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that TikTok and Twitter have held early talks about a potential combination, citing people familiar with the matter. It is unclear whether Twitter will pursue a deal, which would involve TikTok’s US operations, the people said.

Because Twitter is much smaller, the social media company has reasoned it probably would not face the same level of antitrust scrutiny as Microsoft or other potential bidders, people familiar with the discussions told the newspaper.

Microsoft has been negotiating for weeks with TikTok’s owner, Beijing-based ByteDance, and is considered the front-runner for any possible deal, according to the people. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke with Trump about the matter a week ago.

A TikTok spokesperson said the company does not comment on “market rumours”, in response to an inquiry on the reported talks with Twitter.

Trump signed executive orders on Thursday prohibiting US residents and companies from doing business with TikTok and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat app, effective in 45 days, citing the national-security risk of leaving Americans’ personal data exposed.

tiktok is planning to sue the trump administration as early tuesday according a report
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a news conference at his New Jersey golf resort on Friday. REUTERS

The statement said that Trump's order has a "reliance on unnamed "reports" with no citations, fears that the app 'may be' used for misinformation campaigns with no substantiation of such fear" and added that the company has "made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request." It said that it will "pursue all remedies" to uphold " the rule of law" – " if not by the Administration, then by the US courts."

A video from the AFP about the US's ban against TikTok

Trump made the order under a 1977 law that lets the US president declare a national emergency in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat”, allowing him to block transactions and seize assets.

The president is stepping up his campaign against China, betting that a hard line will help him win November’s election despite upsetting millions of younger TikTok users, according to the scmp.

The White House has grown increasingly weary of TikTok, with the administration claiming that TikTok is selling American user data to the Chinese government. TikTok has repeatedly said that it would never do this.

"It's based on pure speculation and conjecture," the source told NPR. "The order has no findings of fact, just reiterates rhetoric about China that has been kicking around."

TikTok declined comment, referring The Hill to an earlier statement it had made about the president's executive order.

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