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Is TikTok still banned in US?

November 11, 2020

TikTok has filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s plan to shut its service down in the US this week. President Trump had ordered a ban on new downloads of the viral video service from November 12th, unless ByteDance was purchased by a US firm – and no deals have been concluded.

TikTok said it had worked since August to try and comply with the order, issued amid security concern, adding that it had had no feedback from the US government in two months.

“TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment […] In the nearly two months since the president gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalise that agreement but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”

That included a new proposal that would “create a new entity wholly owned by Oracle, Walmart and existing US investors in ByteDance, that would be responsible for handling TIkTok’s US user data and content moderation”.

It added that it had filed a court petition with the US Appeals Court to “defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the US”. It is seeking a court review of the original order and an extension on discussions.

With Joe Biden winning the presidency, TikTok is likely to be questioning whether the president-elect will have a different approach to Chinese firms working in the US.

A potential deal which would have seen ByteDance agree to sell part of its US business to Oracle and Walmart has never been approved by the Chinese government, despite a tentative thumbs up from Trump.

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