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US appeals judge’s ruling that blocked TikTok downloads ban

TikTok - Appy Pie

The US government said that it has appealed in the court a judge’s ruling that prevented it from prohibiting new downloads of the Chinese-owned app TikTok. The order has been appealed in the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

In September, a US Judge Carl Nichols had passed a ruling to temporarily block a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple and Alphabet Inc’s Google from offering new TikTok downloads. This ban was to be put into effect by the US administration on September 20.

Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District Court for the District of Columbia, had halted the ban after TikTok’s attorneys argued that Trump’s ban infringes on rights to free speech and due process. At that time TikTok said that it was pleased with the decision, and had vowed to keep defending its rights.

China’s ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, has been under tremendous pressure from the US government to sell the popular short video-sharing app. The US government claimed that TikTok poses national security concerns as personal data collected from 100 million US users who use the app could be obtained by China’s government.

The Trump administration had said that it will ban TikTok from US app stores and block American users from downloading the Chinese-owned app over national security threat concerns.

Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp are in negotiations ByteDance to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global that would take care of the US operations.

But key terms of the deal like who will have majority ownership are still in dispute. The Chinese firm ByteDance also said any deal will need to be approved by Beijing. China has reviewed and revised its technologies list subject to export bans in a manner that provides the company a say over any TikTok deal.

Any deal will also finally need to be reviewed by the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in US firms or operations.