TikTok Shutting Down: According to The Wall Street Journal, the US Commerce Department says it will not carry out an order that would have made TikTok stop letting people share videos. The government used an injunction from a federal judge in Pennsylvania last month. The judge said that when the Commerce Department tried to stop transactions on the platform, it probably went beyond what it was allowed to do.
Since TikTok is owned by ByteDance, which is based in Beijing, the government has said it is worried about national security.
According to a rule that hasn’t been made public by the Commerce Department, the agency is following the judge’s order. Its ban on TikTok transactions “has been enjoined,” which means that it won’t go into effect until more legal changes happen.
David Shepardson of Reuters says that this isn’t the first time the Commerce Department has said it would follow the injunction. It also said this on November 1. It also said at the time that it “intends to vigorously defend the EO” if it is challenged in court.
Judge Wendy Beetlestone wrote in her ruling that the short videos made and shared on TikTok are like “films, artworks, photographs, and news wire feeds” that are explicitly protected by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. A different part of the Commerce Department’s restrictions, which would have stopped people from downloading the app after September 27, was stopped by a separate lawsuit.
The government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States gave TikTok until November 12 to get rid of “any tangible or intangible assets or property, wherever located, used to enable or support ByteDance’s operation of the TikTok application in the United States.”
ByteDance and Oracle and Walmart made a deal to sell part of ByteDance’s US business. In September, President Trump gave his approval to the deal. But the Chinese government never agreed to the deal, and earlier this week, TikTok asked the Trump administration to review its actions because it hadn’t heard anything new in a few weeks.
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