TikTok calls Trump ban ‘political’ in lawsuit

US President Donald Trump

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China’s TikTok video sharing app went to court to challenge a ban imposed by US President Donald Trump.

President Trump’s Executive Order has banned transactions with TikTok owner ByteDance since mid-September.

Washington officials fear the company might pass US user data to the Chinese government, which ByteDance has denied doing.

Tiktok said the Trump administration’s move was motivated by politics, not national security.

The popular social media app currently has more than 80 million users in the United States.

In his lawsuit, Tiktok said he took “extraordinary” measures to safeguard US data in response to Washington’s concerns and argued that the order is a misuse of national security law.

The ordinance “is not based on a bona fide national emergency and authorizes a ban on activities that were not deemed” an unusual and extraordinary threat, “” the company says in the complaint, portions of which were shared on its website in advance. of Monday’s deposit.

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Multimedia captionWATCH: What’s Happening with TikTok?

Mr. Trump said TikTok can continue to work if Chinese ByteDance sells it to a US company. He also asked the government to receive a cut from the transaction.

“The president’s requests for payment bear no relation to any conceivable national security problem and only serve to emphasize that the defendants failed to provide plaintiffs with due process required by law,” the company said.

Tiktok added in the filing with the federal court in California: “The president’s actions clearly reflect a political decision to campaign on an anti-China platform.”

A spokesperson for TikTok declined to comment on the status of the sales talks, saying the lawsuit was a “parallel” process.

On Friday, a group of Chinese-Americans filed a separate lawsuit against the president’s similar ban on the social media app WeChat, owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent.

TikTok users post short video clips on the platform on topics ranging from dance routines to international politics.

Its popularity has exploded in recent months, particularly among teenagers, and it has been downloaded more than a billion times around the world.

But President Trump says China is able to use the app to track federal employee locations, gather information to use to blackmail or spy on companies.

The growth of mobile apps developed and owned by Chinese companies “threatens national security, foreign policy and the economy of the United States,” President Trump said.

“This data collection threatens to allow the Communist Party of China access to the personal and proprietary information of Americans,” it says in its executive order.

President Trump’s actions against TikTok and WeChat are the latest in a growing campaign against China ahead of the US presidential election in November.

Since taking office, he has waged a trade war against China.

The United States isn’t the only country introducing blocks on TikTok. India has banned the use of the app and Australia is also considering taking action.

The app is seen by some as a key tool in China’s domestic surveillance apparatus, requiring local users who have been accused of spreading malicious rumors to register a face scan and voiceprint.

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