The September 27 deadline is just a few days away
TL;DR: With the deal between TikTok and Oracle/Walmart looking like no party can agree on terms, the app has filed for a preliminary injunction against the US ban set to start in a few days. The move comes after WeChat won a similar reprieve over the weekend.
The saga began back in August when Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders that gave US businesses 45 days to stop any transactions with WeChat and ByteDance—ostensibly over security concerns—leaving the latter with little option but to sell TikTok’s US operations.
It looked as if Microsoft would win the race to buy TikTok, but the Redmond firm was knocked back in favor of a partnership with Oracle and Walmart. Trump said he approved the deal “in concept,” and the US Department of Commerce delayed the September 20 ban to September 27, 11:59 PM.
The TikTok/Oracle/Walmart deal appears to be progressing far from smoothly. ByteDance said it would retain an 80 percent share in TikTok, but Trump insists he won’t approve any deal in which the Chinese firm retains partial ownership of the app. Oracle, meanwhile, says both it and Walmart will be majority owners, and “ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global.” China previously said it wouldn’t accept such a deal.
TikTok had already sued the Trump administration back in August, challenging the executive orders in court. After a California judge temporarily blocked the ban on WeChat following a petition from a group of users, citing “serious questions” about whether it was a first amendment violation, TikTok has now filed for a similar preliminary injunction in district court in Washington. It argues that “there is no plausible reason to insist the prohibitions be enforced immediately,” adding that orders preventing downloads from the app stores “dramatically exceed” the administration’s power under US law.
NPR reporter Bobby Ally tweeted a declaration by TikTok that claims Trump’s targeting of the app caused a dozen brands to cancel deals, costing the company $10 million. It also alleges that 52 candidates have declined job offers with TikTok and ByteDance due to uncertainty over the ban.