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Judge blocks Trump administration’s TikTok app stores ban


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Wake up, take a look at the US app stores (if you can) and see that… TikTok remains available to download. That’s because a US District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction last night to prevent the Trump administration’s proposed ban on new downloads of the app from taking effect.

The judge’s written explanation of the ruling may be released later today. During a hearing yesterday, TikTok’s attorneys focused on the ongoing negotiations with Oracle and Walmart to reach a deal that would render the ban unnecessary.

“How does it make sense to impose this app store ban tonight when there are negotiations under way that might make it unnecessary?” said lawyer John E. Hall during that hearing, according to Reuters.

The US Justice Department had argued that ruling against the ban would be “interfering with a formal national security judgment of the president; altering the landscape with respect to ongoing CFIUS negotiations; and continuing to allow sensitive and valuable user information to flow to ByteDance with respect to all new users”.

What happens next? President Trump may suddenly have other matters on his mind, but his administration may well appeal against the ruling, once it’s published. The bigger question is whether the deal itself will meet with the approval of both the US and Chinese authorities, with the question of how much (if anything) of the new TikTok Global entity ByteDance owns being the main sticking point.

Stuart Dredge

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