11 Nov 2020
US: TikTok goes to court against President Trump's divestiture order
Running out of time, courtesy of an order passed by US President Donald Trump, TikTok has approached a US Appeals Court. On August 14, the President had directed TikTok's parent company ByteDance to divest TikTok within 90 days — the deadline ends on Thursday.
Making last-ditch efforts, the company said it needs more time as its proposal hasn't received a response yet.
Trump thinks TikTok is handing over data to Beijing
President Trump, who lost a re-election bid last week, has been hugely critical of TikTok, which has over 100 million users in the country.
He claimed the short-video platform shared user data with China, a charge TikTok denied.
Subsequently, Trump signed a number of orders concerning TikTok. One of them required the company to sell its US operations within 90 days.
TikTok was also banned by Trump, court provided breather
Furthermore, in August, Trump also banned the app. But on October 30, a Pennsylvania judge gave an injunction that temporarily blocked the ban.
While it was given a breather from the ban, the November 14 deadline loomed over TikTok, hence, it thought appropriate to approach the court in the District of Columbia.
The company has sought a 30-day extension on the August 14 order.
Series of events
TikTok claimed it hasn't heard from Trump administration for weeks
As per reports, TikTok hasn't had a meaningful conversation with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for weeks now.
TikTok said that despite not agreeing with its assessment, the company remained engaged with the committee.
In two months, since Trump gave preliminary approval to the proposal revolving around security concerns, TikTok provided comprehensive solutions but didn't get feedback.
Left with no choice, TikTok approached court
"Facing continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted, we requested the 30-day extension that is expressly permitted in the August 14 order. Without an extension in hand, we have no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights," TikTok said.
Earlier, ByteDance mulled selling all TikTok assets in select countries
It is important to note that after Trump's divestiture order, ByteDance thought about selling all TikTok assets in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia to Microsoft or Oracle.
The deal didn't go through as the Chinese government said ByteDance must first get a license to sell TikTok to a foreign entity.
After a setback, ByteDance came up with another plan.
TikTok's new deal had Trump's "blessing." Company is waiting, nevertheless!
Subsequently, ByteDance agreed to sell 20% of a new company, named TikTok Global, to Oracle and Walmart. The deal had Trump's "blessing."
On September 19, Trump approved the deal, but the Chinese government didn't. Later, there was a disagreement over ByteDance's shares in the new company.
After that, Trump tested positive for coronavirus and got busy with polls. The deal has now been sidelined.