FILE PHOTO: The TikTok logo is pictured outside the company’s U.S. head office in Culver City, California, U.S., Sept. 15, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The Commerce Department said Thursday it would give TikTok more time before it enforces an order that would shut it down in the U.S.

The Commerce Department announced Sept. 18 that the Chinese-owned video sharing app would be banned from app stores effective Sept. 20; TikTok could operate in the U.S. until Nov. 12 under that order.

District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in an Oct. 30 injunction said the government’s descriptions of TikTok’s threat to national security “are phrased in the hypothetical” and that the government would have to put the ban on hold “pending further legal developments.” The U.S. Justice Department filed an appeal to Beetlestone’s order.

An Aug. 6 order from the U.S. Department of the Treasury gave ByteDance Ltd., TikTok’s parent company, 45 days to find an American buyer. Several companies, including Microsoft, Walmart and Oracle, have expressed interest in buying the app, though no official offers have been made. On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington gave ByteDance and the Trump administration Dec.14 and Dec. 28 deadlines to file additional documents in a case challenging the order.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Commerce Department Holds Off on TikTok Ban ‘Pending Further Legal Developments’ – National Review – 11/13/2020
The Department said it would delay enforcement of the order, which was set to take effect on Thursday, and would have prohibited U.S. companies from offering internet-hosting or content-delivery services to TikTok. Trump initially issued a ban on the app back in August, as the administration and a number of lawmakers expressed concerns over potential national security risks posed by TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, having access to U.S. user data. TikTok has said it does not and would not share U.S. user data with the Chinese Community Party.

TikTok Survives For Now as Commerce Department Holds Off on Shutdown – Variety – 11/12/2020
TikTok has argued that President Trump relied on “anti-Chinese rhetoric” during his campaign, and that the idea of banning the app came about after TikTok users bragged of coordinating to book tickets to a Trump rally in Tulsa, Okla., making it appear that attendance would be much greater than it actually turned out to be. TikTok contends that the resulting embarrassment prompted the administration to explore the ban.

US announces stay of TikTok ban, and sale deadline is held off for at least a month – South China Morning Post – 11/13/2020
TikTok, the Chinese-owned popular video-sharing app caught in the midst of US-China tensions, temporarily dodged a ban Thursday that would have meant the shutting of its US operations and saw the deadline for the sale of its US operations moved until next month at the earliest. The US Department of Commerce announced it would not enact the ban – scheduled to go into effect at midnight – that would have prevented US service providers from enabling users to gain access to TikTok, which would effectively force the app to shut down operations in the country.

Trump admin puts a hold on TikTok ban it seems to have forgotten about – Ars Technica – 11/13/2020
President Donald Trump earlier this year signed two executive orders relating to TikTok. The first, on August 7, declared the app to be a national emergency. A second, issued one week later, gave ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, 90 days to divest the app to a US owner. That deadline fell today, November 12. And while ByteDance has not divested any portion of TikTok yet, it does have a deal of sorts in place with Oracle that the White House seemed more or less OK with after it was announced in September.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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