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TikTok Challenges Trump Executive Order in Federal Court

TikTok is filing a lawsuit in federal court Monday challenging the executive order signed on Aug. 6 by U.S. President Donald Trump. The order directed China-based ByteDance to divest itself of the short-form video app in the United States. A subsequent executive order issued on Aug. 14  directed ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok 90 days from the date of the order, or Sept. 29.  

In a blog post announcing its decision Monday, ByteDance said that it is taking this action to protect the community of 100M Americans who use TikTok to create content and consume it. Furthermore, the company made a statement that the potential ban would be “eliminating the creation of 10,000 American jobs.”

“The Executive Order issued by the Administration on August 6, 2020, has the potential to strip the rights of that community without any evidence to justify such an extreme action, and without any due process,” the company wrote. “We strongly disagree with the Administration’s position that TikTok is a national security threat and we have articulated these objections previously.”

ByteDance also said that, while it does not “take suing the government lightly,” it has no choice but “take action to protect our rights, and the rights of our community and employees.”

Last week the company said that it had no plans to shut down, despite orders issued by the U.S. government This legal challenge is part of that strategy. According to multiple reports, ByteDance has been in talks to sell its operations in the U.S. and elsewhere with Oracle, Microsoft, and Twitter.

Despite challenges from the government, TikTok continues to sign U.S.-focused partnerships: on Aug. 12 it signed a three-year partnership deal with Major League Baseball team the New York Yankees and in early August it partnered with video game consumer events company gamescom, alongside YouTube and Twitch.

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