Will ‘vigorously defend’ TikTok’s ban order: US Commerce Dept

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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After its latest setback in the perusal of a total ban for Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok at the hands of U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone last week, the U.S Commerce Department stated that it will continue to “vigorously defend” the Presidential executive order to bar all transactions with the viral sensation app. 

The latest setback to the body’s aggressive push to bar ByteDance-owned TikTok from operating on American soil from November 12 was blocked by Judge Beetlestone who was considering the plea from TikTok influencers last week.

The Commerce Department observed that while it will continue to “comply with the injunction” it will “vigorously defend the (executive order) and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges.”

At her ruling, Judge Beetlestone had ordered the agency to not proceed with the barring of data hosting facility within the United States for TikTok along with relaxations for its content delivery services and other technology transactions.

While the Donald Trump administration argues that allowing the operation of TikTok poses grave national security concerns as the service collected 100 million US citizens which could be used by the Chinese government, Judge Beetlestone remarked that “government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical.”

The US Commerce Department hit its first roadblock in late September when U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington prevented the department from ordering global tech giants Apple and Google to remove the controversial app from their respective app stores.

Judge Nichols is set to hold a hearing this week on the other aspects of the Commerce Department order that Judge Beetlestone blocked last week.

TikTok is still in talks with retail giant Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp Talks to finalize a preliminary deal that will give the quo stakes in a new company, TikTok Global which would be responsible for TikTok’s US operations.

Earlier President Trump said that the deal involving two US-based firms had his “blessing.”