TikTok launched legal action against the Trump administration over the executive order banning the social media platform this autumn unless it is sold to a non-Chinese entity.
“Today we are filing a complaint in federal court challenging the Administration's efforts to ban TikTok in the US. As a company we have always focused on transparency, so we want to explain why we are taking this step,” the company said in a press release.
TikTok said it has no choice but to sue the Trump administration and to "take action to protect our rights and the rights of our community and employees."
On August 6, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring US companies from doing business with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance after September 20 unless TikTok is sold to a non-Chinese company.
"The Executive Order issued by the Administration on August 6, 2020 has the potential to strip the rights of that community without any evidence to justify such an extreme action, and without any due process. We strongly disagree with the Administration's position that TikTok is a national security threat and we have articulated these objections previously," the company said.
The White House insists that the Chinese company is a threat to national security. The lawsuit comes as no surprise as TikTok said it was considering taking legal action after Donald Trump signed his first executive order.
“We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts,” the company said in a statement less than a month ago.
It insists that the recent executive order was issued without any due process and that the Trump administration paid no attention to facts.
“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to,” the company said. Microsoft announced it is prepared to complete the discussions with ByteDance no later than September 15, 2020. Twitter and Oracle are also in talks with ByteDance about the TikTok acquisition.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg actively lobbied for a TikTok ban in private meetings with members of the US Congress.