The fate of TikTok within the us got even more confusing in the week . The U.S. Justice and Commerce Departments sent differ messages today about TikTok’s future, which is now up within the air with the upcoming administration transition.
The Department of Commerce said Thursday it’d abide by an injunction issued October 30 by the District Court within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania which may have blocked TikTok from operating within the U.S. ranging from today.
In a statement, the department said it’s complying with the court’s order and its prohibition against TikTok “HAS BEEN ENJOINED, and can NOT enter EFFECT, pending further legal developments.”
But on an equivalent day, the Department of Justice appealed the Pennsylvania court’s ruling even as it had been set to travel into effect.ByteDance reached an agreement with Oracle and Walmart in September, but the longer term of the deal is additionally uncertain.
But wait! It gets even more convoluted: another court–the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington–just set new deadlines in December for ByteDance, TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, and therefore the Trump administration, to file documents during a case involving a divestment order that might force ByteDance to sell TikTok to continue operating within the U.S.
The Justice Department’s appeal is a component of a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government on September 18 by three TikTok designers, Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab and Alec Chambers.
Each has quite 1,000,000 followers on TikTok, which has about 100 million users within the U.S., and argues that a ban would impact their ability to earn a living from brand collaborations on the app.
On Oct. 30, Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued an injunction against the U.S. government’s restrictions. In her ruling, Beetlestone wrote that the “government’s own descriptions of the national security warning posted by the TikTok app are phrased within the hypothetical.”
This case is break away the one ByteDance filed against the U.S. government during a federal appellate court in Washington D.C. Earlier in the week , ByteDance asked that court to vacate the U.S. order forcing it to sell the app’s American operations.
ByteDance told TechCrunch during a statement that without an extension on the November 12 deadline, no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights and people of our quite 1,500 employees within the U.S.”
The Commerce Department’s statement today, along side the Justice Department’s appeal and therefore the new deadlines within the divestment case, underscore the confusion about the longer term of the Trump administration’s actions against TikTok after President-Elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.
While some analysts believe the Biden administration may give Chinese tech companies that were targeted under the present administration, including Huawei and ByteDance, an opportunity to re-negotiate with the govt , which will take second priority as Biden deals with domestic issues, including the resurgence of COVID-19 within the U.S.