Report: TikTok Preparing To Sue Trump

As soon as Tuesday, TikTok is reportedly preparing to sue the Trump administration in response to its decision to ban the app in the United States.

The looming lawsuit will portray the President’s executive order as unconstitutional because it did not give TikTok enough time to respond, NPR reports.

The suit -- set to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California -- will also argue that Trump’s national security concerns are baseless.

Trump and other U.S. officials suspect TikTok -- owned by Beijing-based parent ByteDance -- of gathering user data on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.

As such, Trump just recently signed an executive order to prohibit U.S. citizens and companies from doing business with ByteDance. 

The order -- which coincided with another order targeting WeChat parent Tencent -- is scheduled to go into effect on September 15. After that date, the Commerce Department will be responsible for identifying transactions that violate the bans. The order asserts the Chinese companies represent security risks that constitute a national emergency. 

With the clock ticking in TikTik’s U.S. presence, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming has expressed his willingness to sell the app.

Microsoft has publicly acknowledged it is pursuing an acquisition of all or part of TikTok, while Trump has said he supports such a deal.

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journalreported Twitter has held preliminary talks about merging with TikTok.

It is unclear whether Twitter is equipped to navigate the political minefield that such a deal would require, or whether it could even afford TikTok.

A number of ByteDance investors seeking to take over TikTok valued the app at around $50 billion, Reuters recently reported.

As a separate Wall Street Journal story suggests, several venture capital firms could be interested in helping Twitter come up with the necessary funds to go after TikTok, or at least its U.S. operations.

One such firm is Sequoia Capital, which is already in a unique position considering that its China-based affiliate invested in Bytedance in 2014, and it currently holds about 10% of the Chinese tech giant.

1 comment about "Report: TikTok Preparing To Sue Trump".
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  1. PJ Lehrer from NYU, August 13, 2020 at 12:18 p.m.

    I'm still not convinced that this is an issue of national security...

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