A Washington DC Federal judge has given the Tik Tok a reprieve as he blocks President Trump’s ambition to ban it in America.
Trump’s ambition was to ban the popular app in American stores and had signed an executive order through the US commerce department.
Trump has always claimed the Chinese app was using American citizen’s personal data in an illegal manner with Beijing ‘spying’ on the US and wanted the app away from American shores.
However, just before the ban was meant to come into place on Sunday, US District Judge Carl Nichols issued a preliminary injunction which would allow the app to still be on offer in Apple and Google stores.
Judge Nichols declined “at this time” to block a second set of restrictions requested by the US Department of Commerce, due to take effect on 12th November, which will bar any American company from providing services to TikTok.
This order would put a ban on Tik Tok in the US as a whole.
The Commerce Department said in a statement that it would “comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so”.
Tik Tok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, said it was pleased with the injunction and it would “maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last week, into an agreement.”
The company’s lawyer John Hall had said a ban would be “punitive” and would close off a public forum used by tens of millions of Americans.
The US government responded that TikTok posed an “immediate national security threat” that had to be addressed, even as ByteDance continued negotiations.
“It is a risk today and deserves to be addressed today even while other things are being played out,” Daniel Schwei, a US justice department lawyer, told the district court in Washington DC.
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