A federal judge has postponed President Donald Trump’s threatened shutdown of the popular short-form video app TikTok, siding with a Pennsylvania comedian and two other TikTok creators who say Trump’s order hampers their free speech.
U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone on Friday blocked an upcoming Commerce Department action that would have effectively banned TikTok in the U.S. by cutting it off from vital technical services.
Video app TikTok said it will wage a legal fight against the Trump Administration’s efforts to ban the popular, Chinese-owned service over national-security concerns.
TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, insisted Monday that it is not a national-security threat and that the government is acting without evidence or due process. The company said it will file suit against the government later Monday in federal court in California. A copy of the complaint could not be obtained.
President Donald Trump on Friday gave the Chinese company ByteDance 90 days to divest itself of any assets used to support the popular TikTok app in the United States.
Trump’s executive order said there is “credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
Two days after President Trump told reporters that he plans to ban TikTok from the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested in an interview with Fox News that executive action may soon be taken against many other apps owned by Chinese firms.
Trump remarked to journalists aboard Air Force One on Friday that he could ban TikTok “with an executive order,” suggesting that the president has made up his mind about the popular short video platform. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance, has been at the center of a months-long debate over whether the data that it collects from American users could be exploited by China’s government.