It looks like TikTok is still in circulation for now after being granted a temporary reprieve by District Judge Carl Nichols.
The Trump administration had earlier issued a deadline to move its main base of operations to the United States. Failure to do so would result in a ban that would prevent people from downloading the short-form video-sharing app. This deadline officially ended on Sunday, September 27—supposedly.
TikTok is still in hot waters but for now, it can enjoy a momentary breather. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols of Washington, D.C., was the one to issue the order. This order did not include a more comprehensive ruling that would prevent U.S. companies from working with ByteDance, the Chinese-owned company that owns TikTok.
A ban would’ve definitely halted TikTok’s unprecedented growth and the company knows this for a fact.
“I am very happy that the court has granted an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok ban that would have prohibited new users to download the app,” says TikTok’s interim chief Vanessa Pappas in a statement on Twitter. “We will continue to seek to protect the rights of our users, partners, artists, employees, businesses, and creators.”
TikTok went under fire after U.S. President Donald Trump accused the video-sharing platform of being a threat to national security. As per the president, he claims that the Chinese-owned company, ByteDance, could be pressured by the Chinese to hand over user data. This is an accusation that ByteDance has vehemently denied.
Because of this, President Trump forcing TikTok to be fully sold to an American company. He gave ByteDance 90 days to secure a deal or face a permanent shutdown. Afterward, Trump issued an executive order that bans U.S. transactions with the company. This ban also extended to WeChat (in a separate order), a Chinese messaging app.
Reports surfaced that ByteDance is trying to secure a deal with an American company and that things were proceeding smoothly. However, a new ruling in China further complicated ByteDance’s precarious situation. The ruling amended its export restrictions and required Chinese companies to seek government approval before exporting Chinese technology.
Just over the weekend, ByteDance made a provisional deal with Oracle and Walmart, two big U.S. companies. The deal would create a subsidiary in the U.S. called TikTok Global with Oracle and Walmart as co-owners. Part of the deal is to have four of the five board members of the company to be American. The last board member would be the Chinese Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance.
As things stand, nothing is set in stone for TikTok as of yet. Furthermore, the companies involved have failed to provide a clear description of the changes that would occur when TikTok makes the jump to the U.S.
Featured image courtesy of Solen Feyisa/Flickr
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