WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge in Washington on Sunday blocked a Trump administration order that barred Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google China-owned mini-video-sharing app TickTalk from being offered for download. Sunday.
President Donald Trump’s nominee, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, who appeared in court last year, said he was issuing preliminary orders to prevent the TicTac App Store ban from taking effect.
Nicholas refused “at this time” to block other Commerce Department sanctions that would take effect on November 12, warning that TickTalk could have the effect of making the application obsolete in the United States.
Nicholas’ detailed written opinion will be released soon on Monday.
John E., lawyer for Tiktok. Hall argued in a 90-minute hearing Sunday morning that the ban was “unprecedented” and “irrational.”
“It makes sense how this app store ban could be imposed tonight, it’s being unnecessarily negotiated.” Hall asked during the trial. “It’s just punishable. It’s a blunt way of hurting the company. … there’s no urgency here.”
U.S. officials have expressed national security concerns that the Chinese Communist Party government could gain access to personal data collected on the 100 million Americans who use the app.
Byte Dance announced on September 20 that Walmart Inc. and Oracle Corp had entered into a preliminary agreement to acquire a stake in a new company called Tiktac Global, which oversees US operations. Negotiations are ongoing on the terms of the agreement and resolving issues from Washington and Beijing.
The agreement is yet to be reviewed by the US Government Foreign Investment Commission (CFIUS).
The primary mandate that allows Americans to continue downloading the TickTalk app is to “interfere with the President’s official national security judgment; “
The Commerce Department delayed the ban on Sept. 19 to give companies an extra week to finalize the deal.
Amid growing U.S.-China tensions under the Trump administration, Tick Tock argued the sanctions were “not motivated by a genuine national security concern, but by political observations of the upcoming general election.”
Another U.S. judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday rejected an attempt by three TicTac content creators to block the ban, while a judge in California blocked similar orders from affecting Tencent Holdings’ WeChat application.
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