U.S. Court to Fast Track Justice Department’s Appeal for not Banning TikTok from App Store

On Wednesday, a U.S. appeals court agreed to expedite a Justice Department appeal of a ruling curbing the government from restricting new TikTok downloads from U.S. app stores.

Series of Hearings

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington released a preliminary injunction on September 27 that banned the U.S. Commerce Department from ordering Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google app stores to scrap off the Chinese-owned short video-sharing app for download by new users.

A U.S. appeals court in Washington stated that all briefs are due by November 12; oral arguments will take place after that. The government’s opening brief is due on Friday.

Nichols is planning to hold a November 4 hearing on whether to enable the U.S. government to restrict transactions with TikTok that it has alarmed would ultimately ban the app’s utilization in the United States. Those restrictions are poised to take effect on November 12.

On Wednesday, TikTok looked out for a preliminary injunction to avoid those restrictions, revealing that TikTok users from the U.S. send 80 million direct messages and share 46 million videos on average a day on the app.

The company stated that the U.S. government has provided “no evidence that the TikTok source code has ever been compromised, shared or used for nefarious purposes; no evidence that the Chinese government has ever obtained access to any TikTok user data, let alone that of U.S. users; and no evidence that TikTok’s recommendation engine systematically biases Chinese (or any other) political interest.”

‘TikTok Global’ Deal

China’s ByteDance, which is the owner of TikTok, has been under pressure to sell the popular app. The White House argues that TikTok is dangerous for national security and poses concerns as personal data collected on 100 million Americans who utilize the app could be accessed by China’s government. Any deal is going to require a review by the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); however, people familiar with the matter said they do not expect any final agreement before the election.

Negotiations are under process for Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to buy stakes in a new company, TikTok Global that would monitor U.S. operations.

Key terms of the deal, including which company would have majority ownership, are in refute.

A federal judge in San Francisco curbed similar restrictions from happening that would ban the utilization of Tencent Holding’s WeChat. On the government’s request, a hearing will take place on Thursday to implement the ban, as soon as possible, on the Chinese messaging app.