TikTok: US Judge Halts App Store Ban

3 weeks ago

TikTok has avoided a government-ordered block on new downloads in the US after a judge issued a temporary injunction.

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The video-sharing app had faced being removed from Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play marketplace at midnight local time in Washington DC.

Existing US-based users would have been able to have continued using it.

But they would not have been able to have re-downloaded the app if they had deleted it from their phones, nor have been offered software updates.

Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued the injunction on Sunday evening having held a 90-minute hearing earlier in the day.

The opinion was sealed, meaning that no reason for the decision was released.

TikTok welcomed the intervention, and vowed to keep defending its rights.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” it said in a statement.

TikTok had argued that forcing it off the iOS and Android app stores would have violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the US constitution.

It claimed that preventing some users joining the app unlawfully impinged upon their freedom of speech and that the firm’s own right to due process would have been breached by not giving it a proper opportunity to defend itself first.

“How does it make sense to impose this app store ban tonight when there are negotiations underway that might make it unnecessary?” added a member of the app’s legal team.

The US government’s lawyers in turn had described the app’s parent as being “a mouthpiece” for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The ruling comes one week after another Chinese app – WeChat – that also faced a ban, was given its own last minute reprieve by the US courts.

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