On Sunday, TikTok confirmed its plans to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over an executive order that seeks to ban TikTok – currently owned by Chinese company ByteDance – unless it finds an American buyer. Rumours of a lawsuit began circling on Friday as first reported by Reuters. According to Reuters, TikTok could issue a lawsuit as early as this coming week.
Earlier this month, Trump signed an executive order on August 6 prohibiting any transactions with ByteDance in a bid to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.”
Trump later issued a separate order on August 14 that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok. Trump alleged TikTok “continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the US.” The app has come under scrutiny after US officials said its ties with China could result in user data being passed over to the Chinese government. TikTok has said it has never provided data on US users to China’s government. The US president issued a similar order targeted at Tencent’s WeChat.
In a statement, TikTok said, “Even though we strongly disagree with the [Trump] administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution. What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”
On Sunday, ByteDance formally announced that it will sue the US government to challenge the executive order. ByteDance has been in talks with potential US buyers including Microsoft and Oracle, and even Twitter.
TikTok has reportedly been downloaded 175 million times in the US as of August 6, according to the president’s executive order.