TikTok Appoints New Legal Counsel To Fight US Sell-Off

In opposition to the U.S. government’s enforced sell-off and possible ban of TikTok, the ByteDance-owned social media company has appointed new legal counsel, veteran lawyer John Rogovin, to fight the proposed legislation.

Rogovin previously served as General Counsel for Warner Bros. for over 12 years, where he had legal oversight of the company, including Warner Bros. production and distribution of film and television in over 135 countries. Prior to Warner Bros., Rogovin served as General Counsel of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.

TikTok’s previous senior legal counsel Erich Andersen stepped down from the role in April, becoming “special counsel” to the company in order to help drive its efforts to “overturn the unconstitutional ban legislation in the U.S.”



Now, Rogovin will join Andersen’s team.

To institute the sell-off of TikTok on the U.S., President Joe Biden signed the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which prohibits web-hosting services and app marketplaces from distributing the social media app unless it is sold within one year by ByteDance.

Over the past few years, the Biden administration has expressed concerns about potential risks posed by the China-owned app, including the collection of sensitive data on Americans by the Chinese government, as well as a means to push government propaganda. These views have gained strong bipartisan support.

ByteDance filed a lawsuit last month against the U.S. government to invalidate the sell-off law and are seeking to find the law unconstitutional in that it violates the First Amendment right to freedom of expression and the Fifth Amendment right to due process of law.

Despite the bill’s call for a sell-off, not an outright ban, TikTok has insisted on using the word “ban,” expressing that it isn’t feasible to separate the company in line with the U.S. government’s requirements.

“I know John is eager to hit the ground running during this important time for the company,” said TikTok CEO Shou Chew, adding that TikTok has spent the past few months trying to build trust among U.S. residents and government officials, including the launch of its “Change Makers” program for charitable donations and the release of an economic impact report stating that the platform generated $14.7 billion for American small- and medium-sized businesses in 2023.

If TikTok is unable to overturn the bill, the app will be gone from the U.S. as of January next year.


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