US government appeals TikTok ban block

David Shepardson
·2-min read

The US Justice Department has appealed a Pennsylvania judge's October 30 order blocking the government from imposing restrictions on Chinese-owned TikTok.

The Commerce Department's August restrictions order was to take effect late on Thursday, barring transactions with ByteDance's short video sharing app TikTok that its owner had warned would have effectively barred its use in the United States.

The Commerce Department said on November 1 it would comply with Judge Wendy Beetlestone's order but "vigorously defend" its actions.

TikTok did not immediately comment on the government's appeal to the US Third Circuit.

Beetlestone enjoined the agency from barring data hosting within the United States for TikTok, content delivery services and other technical transactions.

President Donald Trump's administration contends TikTok poses national security concerns as personal data collected on 100 million Americans who use the app could be obtained by China's government.

TikTok denies the allegations.

Beetlestone wrote the "government's own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical".

On September 27, US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington issued a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by ByteDance that stopped Commerce ordering Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google app stores to remove TikTok for download by new users.

That order had been set to take effect later that day.

The US Treasury Department said on Wednesday it wanted a resolution of national security concerns it has raised about TikTok before a Thursday divestiture deadline.

ByteDance has been in talks for a deal with Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to shift TikTok's US assets into a new entity called TikTok Global.

It said on Tuesday it was requesting a 30-day extension of the divestiture deadline to finalise terms. Trump said in September the deal had his "blessing".