TikTok said on Aug. 22 it plans to file a lawsuit on Monday against President Donald Trumps executive order prohibiting transactions with the popular short video app and its Chinese parent ByteDance, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
Reuters exclusively reported on Friday that TikTok would challenge Trumps executive order as early as Monday.
TikTok said it had tried to engage with the U.S administration for nearly a year, but faced “a lack of due process.”
“To ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the executive order through the judicial system,” the company said in a statement.
TikToks owner ByteDance issued a separate statement on Sunday saying it will officially file a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Monday, Aug. 24.
Trump issued an executive order on Aug. 14 that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest from the U.S. operations of TikTok. ByteDance has been making progress in talks with potential acquirers, including Microsoft Corp. and Oracle. Some of ByteDances U.S. investors could also join the winning bid.
While TikTok is best known for its anodyne videos of people dancing and going viral among teenagers, U.S. officials have expressed concerns that information on users could be passed on to the Chinese regime.
TikTok, which was acquired by Beijing-based ByteDance Technology Co. in 2017, is estimated to have tens of millions of active users in the United States.
The crux of the concern is that under a 2017 national intelligence law, Chinese companies are required to provide their data to the Communist Party.
TikToks legal challenge would not shield ByteDance from having to divest the app. This is because it does not pertain to the Aug. 14 order on the sale of TikTok, which is not subject to judicial review.
However, the move shows that ByteDance is seeking to deploy all the legal ammunition at its disposal as it tries to prevent the TikTok deal negotiations from turning into a fire sale.
The Trump administration has stepped up its efforts to purge what it deems “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks. Beyond TikTok, Trump has also issued an order that would prohibit transactions with Tencent Holdings WeChat.
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