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