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TikTok, US Call on Court to Fast-Track Appeals as Ban Date Looms

A group of TikTok creators has filed suit to block the law that could ban the app while TikTok itself and parent company ByteDance have also filed a similar lawsuit

Many American adults appear to support the move by Congress to force Bytedance to sell TikTok because it can be used to influence public opinion and espionage, a poll found. Photo: Reuters


The US Justice Department and TikTok have urged the US appeals court to fast-track the legal challenges to Washington’s divest-or-ban threat to the video-sharing app.

TikTok, ByteDance and a group of TikTok content creators, jointly with the Justice Department, have asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to rule on its challenges by December 6.

This would give them time to seek review from the Supreme Court, if needed, before the US’s January 19 deadline for its new law requiring China-based ByteDance to divest TikTok’s US assets by January 19 – or face a ban.

On Tuesday, a group of TikTok creators filed suit to block the law that could ban the app used by 170 million Americans, saying it has had “a profound effect on American life”.

Last week, TikTok and parent company ByteDance filed a similar lawsuit, arguing that the law violates the US Constitution on a number of grounds including running afoul of First Amendment free speech protections.

“In light of the large number of users of the TikTok platform, the public at large has a significant interest in the prompt disposition of this matter,” the US Justice Department and TikTok petitioners said.


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TikTok said with a fast-track schedule it believes the legal challenge can be resolved without it needing to request emergency preliminary injunctive relief.

The law, signed by President Joe Biden on April 24, gives ByteDance until the January date to sell TikTok or face a ban. The White House says it wants to see Chinese-based ownership ended on national security grounds, but not a ban on TikTok.

The parties asked the court to set the case for oral arguments as soon as practical during the September case calendar. The Justice Department said it may file classified material to support the national security justifications in secret with the court.

Earlier this week the Justice Department said the TikTok law “addresses critical national security concerns in a manner that is consistent with the First Amendment and other constitutional limitations.”

The law prohibits app stores like Apple and Alphabet’s Google from offering TikTok and bars internet hosting services from supporting TikTok unless ByteDance divests TikTok.

Driven by worries among US lawmakers that China could access data on Americans or spy on them with the app, the measure was passed overwhelmingly in Congress just weeks after being introduced.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

Project Liberty Forms Group to Bid For TikTok’s Operations in US

TikTok, Bytedance File Legal Challenge Against Divestment Law

TikTok Allowing Manipulated Videos of Biden, Media Monitor Says

TikTok Employees Faced Questioning at US Borders – Forbes

TikTok Seen as Chinese Influence Tool by Most in US, Poll Finds



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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