President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the TikTok application as a national security risk, but a federal judge prevented its enforcement shortly before the scheduled time.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols granted TikTok owner ByteDance’s request that the application remain active in the United States, at least temporarily, but did not grant a stay of another ban that will take effect on Nov. 12, according to The Guardian on Sept. 28.
Had they allowed President Trump’s executive order to be complied with, Google and Apple would have removed TikTok from their app stores at midnight on Sept. 27, which they did not do.
For now, the ban on any U.S. company providing services to TikTok, as also requested by the U.S. Department of Commerce, remains in effect as of Nov. 12, thus completely shutting down the use of the application in the country.
Nichols argued in his decision that he expects to meet with both parties involved in the case. The Trump administration has the option of appealing the judge’s ruling.
The banning of TikTok was motivated by its ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through ByteDance. The Trump administration described ByteDance as a “spokesperson” for the CCP and would be “committed to promoting the program and messages of the CCP.”
ByteDance announced on Sept. 20 that it had reached a preliminary agreement for Walmart and Oracle to partner with a restructured company. If TikTok were majority owned by US companies, it could continue to operate in the country.
The agreement has yet to be reviewed by the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS).
This short video application had already been banned in India, along with hundreds of other applications from CCP-dependent companies.
The CCP is accused of illegally obtaining data from organizations and citizens who use it, and this threat is of concern to authorities, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has alluded to.
“We are now evaluating each instance where we believe that U.S. citizens’ data that they have on their phones or in their system or in their health care records. We want to make sure that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t have a way to easily access that,” Pompeo said at a July 8 press conference.