TikTok, in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement Friday that the popular video-sharing app will be banned from app stores starting this Sunday, September 20, said it plans to dispute the executive order, calling it “unjust.”
“We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the U.S. of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. “We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the U.S. from November 12.”
TikTok does not directly operate out of China, but is owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance. Trump said Chinese ownership of the app warrants a ban for national security concerns — and that TikTok would need to sell its U.S. operations to an American company to continue operating within the country. According to reports this week, TikTok has reportedly agreed to join forces with software giant Oracle as its “technology partner.”
Over 100 million people in the U.S. have TikTok downloaded on their phones and use it regularly, and the app is increasingly popular with Gen Z, members of which have expressed concern over the president’s decision to restrict the app for what they call political purposes.
A TikTok spokesperson said that the company has “already committed to unprecedented levels of additional transparency and accountability well beyond what other apps are willing to do.”
Experts have told Digital Trends that TikTok does harvest user data, but other U.S.-owned services like Facebook are just as invasive of users’ privacy.
On Friday, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s interim global chief, said banning TikTok will pose a new set of concerns for other social media platforms and called on competitors to act. In a tweet, Pappas said: “We invite Facebook and Instagram to publicly join our challenge and support our litigation. This is a moment to put aside our competition and focus on core principles like freedom of expression and due process of law.”
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