The social media company TikTok, whose app of the same name is designed for sharing short videos and has surged in popularity, has announced a lawsuit against the Trump administration over a recent executive order targeting the company. That order included a demand for the app’s sale by their Beijing-based parent company or the app would have to cease operations in the United States. The clock started ticking from the moment of the signature — the order included a 45-day deadline. TikTok’s new lawsuit challenging the order comes after the company previously spoke out already and insisted that the president’s team was behaving out of line.
On the occasion of their new lawsuit, the company said:
‘To ensure that the rule of law prevails and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system.’
TikTok says it’ll sue the Trump administration over its executive order: “To ensure that the rule of law prevails and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system.”
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) August 22, 2020
The Trump administration and its allies on this matter have claimed that the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok could be pressured into allowing Chinese authorities to have access to the user data of Americans. There’s no evidence for this claim — it’s just conjecture that might be fueled by brazenly racist, anti-Chinese sentiment. U.S. user data is stored in the United States, and there is no evidence of any coordination between TikTok and the Chinese government up to this point.
Previously, TikTok issued a stern condemnation of the Trump administration’s belligerence. The company said:
‘We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.’
In the statement, the company added that it “made clear” to the Trump administration that it “has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request.” None of this advocacy on the company’s part was apparently enough to sway the Trump administration, which has undertaken a full-scale campaign to antagonize China, including through Trump’s own insistence on trying to blame the country for the Coronavirus. That virus, of course, has no nationality, and some of its introductions to the U.S. apparently came from Europe.