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US court holds hearing on Chinese TikTok app ban

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US court holds hearing on Chinese TikTok app ban

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Photo: Solen Feyissa on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Representatives from TikTok parent company ByteDance will appear before a United States Federal District Court today to argue for an injunction on the Commerce Department’s attempt to shut down the short-form video-sharing app.

Today’s events are a continuation of the legal battle between the Trump administration and Chinese company ByteDance regarding the ownership and management of TikTok’s US operations. The US has tried using the International Emergency Economic Powers act to shut the app down, arguing that ByteDance is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party and poses a threat to national security by storing its citizen’s data. In response, ByteDance and independent TikTok creators have argued that said threats are strictly hypothetical and that the Commerce Department’s actions have restricted TikTok users’ freedom of speech respectively.

Expect ByteDance to obtain an injunction. The case is appearing before Judge Carl J. Nichols, who issued the preliminary injunction halting the banning of the app in September. In the long-term, expect US efforts to ban TikTok to be unsuccessful. With 100 million monthly active users in the US, the app’s top content creators regard the platform as essential to their careers and will continue to challenge any future attempts to ban the app and displace their audience.

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