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Court halts Trump’s TikTok ban

A ban on TikTok expected to come into place in the biggest market it operates in has been delayed by a court decision just hours before the ban was to take effect.TikTok filed a last-minute injunction on Thursday to prevent it being banned in the US, as a deal that would give American cloud computing…

A ban on TikTok expected to come into place in the biggest market it operates in has been delayed by a court decision just hours before the ban was to take effect.

TikTok filed a last-minute injunction on Thursday to prevent it being banned in the US, as a deal that would give American cloud computing company Oracle and retailer Walmart large stakes in the business is finalised.

During a rare Sunday hearing, just hours before the ban was to begin, the court ruled it would not go ahead just yet.

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US President Donald Trump has given his blessing to the proposed Oracle/Walmart deal, but it still needs approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

After China previously changed its export rules that could stop TikTok’s algorithm (the bit that makes it valuable) leaving the country, a newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party’s publicity department last week said the deal was “dirty”, “unfair” and “based on bullying and extortion”.

Before filing the injunction, TikTok said it had “sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed” for nearly a year, but was left with “no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system,” after alleging the Trump administration had “paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses”.

In its filing, TikTok argued it had “made extraordinary efforts to try to satisfy the government’s ever-shifting demands and purported national security concerns, including through changes in the ownership and structure of (its) business, and (we) are continuing to do so”.

United States District Court for the District of Columbia judge Carl J. Nichols has now delivered his ruling that the ban won’t go into effect, however the reasons behind his decision are currently only known to TikTok and the US government.

The government’s motion to ban TikTok included sensitive material and the two parties have the day to ask for any redactions to be made before the court documents and the judge’s opinion are published.

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