TikTok confirms plan to sue the Trump administration next week

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TikTok has confirmed its plan to sue the Trump administration next week due to the president's order that bans US transactions with the app.

Based on the President Donald Trump's executive order, issued on August 6, any deals made with ByteDance that are under US jurisdiction will face prohibition in 45 days. However, the scope of the ban remains uncertain as it allows the Secretary of Commerce to identify those transactions that will be covered by Trump’s order.


TikTok assures its employees they would still get their salaries even if the app is banned in the US, according to a source familiar with the issue.

Meanwhile, another order issued on August 14, reprimanded ByteDance to divest the US operations of TikTok in 90 days. ByteDance is currently negotiating with potential acquirers like Oracle and Microsoft Inc. However, the lawsuit related to the August 6 executive order does not impact the sale discussions with the two giant tech firms.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has always considered TikTok as a security threat. He also said the company is sharing users’ information with the Chinese government. Fox’s Laura Ingraham asked him if he would recommend people to download the app. “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.


“Even though we strongly disagree with the Administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution,” a TikTok spokesperson said during an interview with CNBC. “What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the Administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

“To ensure that the rule of law prevails and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system,” the spokesperson said.

Possible buyers

Trump said Oracle would be “a great company” to take over the operations of TikTok in the US, following reports that Oracle is a possible buyer of the Chinese social media app’s business in North America, Australia and New Zealand.


Oracle is collaborating with a group of US venture capital companies that have a stake in TikTok, the source says. According to a report from The Financial Times, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital as reportedly two of the investors working with Oracle.

Meanwhile, Microsoft affirmed that its talks with the China-based company were about acquiring its social app TikTok in the US. According to Microsoft, it will continue working with the US government on a deal and plans to finalize the talks by September 15.

Microblogging platform Twitter has expressed an interest in acquiring the US operations of video sharing platform Tiktok from its Chinese owner ByteDance.

Sources quoted in the Wall Street Journal said it remains unclear whether Twitter can afford to buy TikTok from ByteDance and whether it can complete the transaction within the 45-day window.

While the value of TikTok’s US operations are unclear, estimates are placing it at tens of billions of dollars. On the other hand, the market capitalization of Twitter is only around $29 billion compared to the other potential buyer, Microsoft, which is worth more than $1.6 trillion.