TikTok will challenge Trump order banning U.S. transactions, company confirms

The Tencent Holdings Ltd. WeChat and ByteDance Ltd. TikTok app icons are displayed on a smartphone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

TikTok is planning to sue the Trump administration over the president’s executive order banning transactions with the popular video-sharing app and its Chinese parent ByteDance, the company confirmed Saturday. 

Under the president’s executive order issued Aug. 6, any transactions with ByteDance by U.S. persons or subject to U.S. jurisdiction will face prohibition in 45 days. The full extent of the ban is unclear, as it gives the Secretary of Commerce the power to identify those transactions subject to the president’s order.

A separate order issued on Aug. 14 gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok. ByteDance is in talks with potential acquirers like Microsoft and Oracle. The challenge to the Aug. 6 executive order doesn’t affect the sale discussions with Microsoft and Oracle. 

“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,” a TikTok spokesperson told CNBC. “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.”

TikTok is popular among teenagers and is known for sharing videos of dances and comedy routines in 60-second bites, many of which go viral.

U.S. officials have shown concerns that information on users could be passed on to China’s communist government and the Trump administration is increasing moves to remove Chinese apps from U.S. online networks.

Reuters first reported the news. 

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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