The lawsuit concerns an executive order that President Trump signed earlier this month, which prevented the company from conducting “transactions” in the U.S. after September 20th. TikTok argues that it was put together without regarding the rights of ByteDance, its Chinese-owned parent company, and that the administration has not proven the app to be a national security threat because of its roots in China, as Trump has claimed.
Contrary to the president’s accusations, TikTok states that it does not store U.S. data in China; that its senior executives are Americans based in the United States; and that Trump has not demonstrated “an unusual and extraordinary threat,” as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act requires for such a large-scale ban.
Furthermore, the company argues that Trump has yet to acknowledge a year of negotiations between the administration and TikTok in its efforts to distance itself from China.
“Now is the time for us to act,” representatives for TikTok wrote in a blog post. “We do not take suing the government lightly, however we feel we have no choice but to take action to protect our rights, and the rights of our community and employees.”
Even if the lawsuit goes forward, ByteDance may be forced to sell TikTok to the highest bidder in less than a month in order to continue operating in the U.S. It is reportedly in talks with Microsoft and Oracle.