U.S. Government Reverses Course on TikTok Ban

November 13th, 2020 4:29 PM

Despite serious national security concerns over the video-sharing app TikTok, the United States government has reversed course on the app’s ban in the country. 

The Department of Commerce announced its compliance with an Oct. 30 injunction that will allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, at least for the time being.

TikTok filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 6 that would ban the app in the United States. Both executive orders that Trump issued regarding TikTok, first on Aug. 6 and then on Aug. 14, cited national security and privacy concerns about its parent company ByteDance, which has ties to the communist Chinese government

The Commerce Department wrote in a statement: “this serves as NOTICE that the Secretary’s prohibition of identified transactions pursuant to Executive Order 13942, related to TikTok, HAS BEEN ENJOINED, and WILL NOT GO INTO EFFECT, pending further legal developments.”

TikTok has been the subject of serious national security concerns over the last year. The U.S. military banned the app from government-issued phones in Dec. of 2019. The Senate also unanimously passed a bill in August, originally proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), that would ban the app from all government-issued phones.

The Commerce Department’s statement does not mean that TikTok can operate indefinitely in the U.S. As CNBC pointed out, “TikTok continues to wait for more government guidance about how to proceed with its minority stake sale. President Donald Trump agreed to the deal in August. But the transaction never got the approval of the Chinese government, and Trump administration officials have gone silent on their demands in the weeks leading up to the election.”

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