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TikTok to challenge Trump’s order to ban U.S. transactions

TikTok is planning to soon launch a legal challenge against an executive order from President Donald Trump that will ban U.S. transactions with the app and its Chinese parent company ByteDance.

The challenge may be filed as soon as Monday, August 24, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The executive order, which was issued on August 6, will ban U.S. business transactions with TikTok and ByteDance starting September 20. Trump said that steps were needed “to deal with the national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and services supply chain.”

The date comes right after Trump’s deadline for TikTok to sell its U.S. operations by September 15. Microsoft is regarded as the front-runner for such an acquisition, though other companies such as Twitter and Oracle have also expressed interest.

In its legal challenge, TikTok will reportedly claim that the reliance of Trump’s executive order on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act deprives the company of due process, the sources said. TikTok will also oppose being tagged as a threat to national security.

TikTok confirmed the plan for a legal challenge in a statement to Digital Trends.

“Even though we strongly disagree with the Administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution. What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the Administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses. To ensure that the rule of law prevails and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system.”

TikTok’s ups and downs

In addition to its issues with Trump, TikTok was on the receiving end of a class-action lawsuit for allegedly stealing data from minors, a concern that was amplified by a report that claimed more than a third of the app’s users in the U.S. are 14 years old and under.

TikTok, on the other hand, is ramping up its Creator Fund to pay content creators a total of $2 billion over the next three years. The app is also expected to play a major role in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, particularly in inspiring Gen Z to go out and vote.

Updated August 22, 2020: Added TikTok’s confirmation of the plan for a legal challenge.

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