A US federal judge in Washington came to TikTok’s rescue hours before it was about to be banned from app stores.
The full order issued by Judge Carl Nichols remains under a seal. However, the decision to grant TikTok a preliminary injunction was made public during an emergency hearing on Sunday. It stems from the assumption that the Trump administration has the upper hand in the entire situation, and TikTok hasn’t been given enough opportunity to defend itself.
The TikTok ban was also delayed last week when the company announced a deal with Oracle and Walmart, offering them 20% stocks combined. However, according to a report by the Washington Post, the upcoming ban on November 12 remains on the cards.
Nonetheless, TikTok has got itself some more time to fight the Trump administration’s legal battle and maintain its presence on American Soil.
After the hearing, the U.S. Commerce Department said it would comply with the decision. But at the same time, it will “vigorously defend” the executive order that is “fully consistent with the law and promotes legitimate national security interests.”
Ever since the entire TikTok ban drama began, the Trump administration has echoed its stance of considering TikTok a national security threat due to its Chinese ownership. While initially on the backfoot, TikTok has now started defending itself more aggressively. The app caters to over 100 million users per quarter in the U.S., and losing all of them will cause big damage to its bank balance.
Following the court’s decision, a Tiktok spokesperson said the company would continue to defend its rights, adding that it “will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the President gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement.”
As far as the TikTok-Oracle-Walmart deal is concerned, it isn’t a cakewalk, and conflicts have started to surface over ownership. Earlier it was believed that TikTok’s owner ByteDance would keep an 80% stake in TikTok Global, but Oracle later said that ByteDance would have no ownership in the new company.
This goes in line with the executive order that asks ByteDance to divest itself from TikTok in the U.S. by November 12.