TikTok asks judge to block Trump’s ban as dead­line looms

Arab Times - - BUSINESS -

Chi­nese-owned TikTok asked a judge to block the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s at­tempt to ban its app, sug­gest­ing the video-shar­ing app’s forced deal with Or­a­cle and Wal­mart re­mains un­set­tled.

An app-store ban of TikTok, de­layed once by the gov­ern­ment, is set to go into ef­fect Sun­day. A more com­pre­hen­sive ban is sched­uled for Novem­ber, about a week af­ter the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump set this process in mo­tion with ex­ec­u­tive or­ders in Au­gust that de­clared TikTok and an­other Chi­nese app threats to US na­tional se­cu­rity. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has of­fered no specifics to sub­stan­ti­ate that charge.

Trump has pushed for a sale of TikTok’s US op­er­a­tions to an Amer­i­can com­pany. The pres­i­dent said this week that he would bless a pro­posed deal in which Or­a­cle and Wal­mart take a 20% stake in a new US en­tity to be called TikTok Global.

But he also said he could re­tract his ap­proval if Or­a­cle doesn’t “have to­tal con­trol.”

The two sides in the TikTok deal ap­pear at odds over the cor­po­rate struc­ture of TikTok Global. ByteDance, TikTok’s Chi­nese par­ent, said Mon­day that it will still own 80% of the US en­tity af­ter a fi­nanc­ing round.

Or­a­cle, mean­while, put out a state­ment say­ing that Amer­i­cans “will be the ma­jor­ity and ByteDance will have no own­er­ship in TikTok Global.”

Chi­nese me­dia have crit­i­cized the deal, sug­gest­ing that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is not happy with the ar­range­ment. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment com­pli­cated deal ar­range­ments in Au­gust when it re­stricted ex­ports of ar­ti­fi­cial-in­tel­li­gence tech like that used by TikTok. (AP)

In this file photo, Icons for the smart­phone apps TikTok and WeChat are seen on a smart­phone screen in Bei jing. (AP)

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