Popular app TikTok is suing the Trump Administration over the recent executive order that’s set to ban its American operations if it isn’t owned by an American Company by September 15. They believe that the ban is a due process violation on the grounds that Trump would first have to present evidence that TikTok poses a threat to national security.
Trump’s concern stems from the company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, being a Chinese company, and therefore giving the Chinese Government access to U.S. citizens’ personal data. TikTok’s complaint states that they had put in ‘extensive efforts’ to address their concern, “The executive order seeks to ban TikTok purportedly because of the speculative possibility that the application could be manipulated by the Chinese government. But, as the U.S. government is well aware, Plaintiffs have taken extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s U.S. user data, including by having TikTok store such data outside of China (in the United States and Singapore) and by erecting software barriers that help ensure that TikTok stores its U.S. user data separately from the user data of other ByteDance products.”
On August 14, the deadline was bumped from September 15 back to November 12 in hopes that that would give them enough time to sell the app to an American company. TikTok already employs 1,500 workers in the U.S. with hopes of expanding to up to 10,000 more jobs in the States should their lawsuit be successful. On the flip side, companies such as Facebook and Triller are preparing to take TikTok’s place if the ban goes through.
In between the ban’s announcement and the company’s decision to sue the government, TikTok signed a distribution agreement with UnitedMasters to allow musicians on the app to distribute any original music from the app on all major music streaming platforms. The platform has helped to launch the careers of several musicians, including Lil Nas X with “Old Town Road,” but the looming ban threatens any U.S. companies conducting business with TikTok with a $300,000 fine and potential criminal prosecution after it takes effect.