Popular video-sharing app TikTok said it may turn to the courts after an Executive Order by President Donald Trump last night effectively bans it from the U.S. on Sept. 20 if it is still owned by Chinese conglomerate ByteDance.
“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 U.S. courts,” the platform said in a statement. It said the recent Executive Order, was issued “without any due process.”
The Administration’s concerns are focused on data security of U.S. users. President Trump signed the Executive Order Thursday after warning for months he might do so. It blocks all U.S. business with ByteDance starting 45 days from the day of the order — or Sept. 20.
The Order said TikTok’s “data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
TikTok insists it never censors content or shares user data with the Chinese government.
Microsoft or another U.S. company could step in and buy TikTok, severing its ties with China. TikTok had said it’s willing to pursue a sale and the software giant said last weekend it has been negotiating an acquisition of TikTok’s operations in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
In its comments today, TikTok said it had tried to engage “in good faith” but found “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.”
“This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth.”
TikTok, which says it has 100 million users in the U.S., is run by former top Walt Disney executive Kevin Mayer.