TikTok was due for its last day in USA yesterday, i.e. November 12, the same day, a divestiture deadline was also directed towards ByteDance to sell the platform. However, an order from a Pennsylvania judge on October 30 blocked the TikTok ban that was due on Thursday. The US Justice Department has now declared an appeal against this order blocking the ban.
The Trump administration has been very vocal and active about imposing a ban on the Chinese-owned short video platform. It did everything in its power to ensure ByteDance’s exit from the US. But the TikTok parent took to the courts in individual US states to prevent the ban. A judge in Washington issued a temporary injunction against the ban that was scheduled for midnight on September 27. Nonetheless, it was a temporary injunction that did not address the ban scheduled on November 12.
Later, popular TikTok stars like Douglas Marland, Alec Chambers, and Cosette Rinab approached the court in Pennsylvania arguing that the November 12 ban, which will disallow telecom companies to provide services to TikTok, would leave them with zero followers, which further means zero income. The judge concluded that the ban will definitely affect hundreds of millions of users on TikTok and the creators’ livelihoods as well. The judge added that the government did not provide enough evidence to support the claims of risks associated with the app and that it fails to outweigh the risk to the public interest. Judge Wendy Beetlestone stated, “government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical.”
The US Government had also ordered ByteDance to sell off TikTok assets to an American entity by November 12. The date has passed and no action has been taken in that regard by any of the sides. ByteDance has been in talks with Walmart and Oracle to sell out TikTok’s American assets to these companies to form ‘TikTok Global’. However, this coalition is also going through some problems as both sides seem to have different opinions on the deal.
The TikTok parent on Tuesday had filed for a 30-day extension of the divestiture deadline to finalize terms of the deal. It also filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington challenging the divestiture order, which gives the US Justice Department power to enforce the sale of TikTok. As of now, neither the government nor ByteDance looks to rush with the proposed sale of TikTok USA.