The United States government has delayed the enforcement of a ban on Chinese video-sharing application TikTok. The popular app had been given a deadline till November 12 to adhere to the ban order.
The TikTok prohibition “has been enjoined, and will not go into effect, pending further legal developments,” the US Commerce Department said in an order.
The US Justice Department, meanwhile, said that it had filed an appeal against a judge’s order blocking restrictions on the app in October, according to The Guardian.
ByteDance, the company which owns TikTok, had been asked to restructure the app’s ownership by Thursday, to address concerns related to national security. The company moved a court in Washington, seeking a month-long delay, Bloomberg reported.
There is also uncertainty about ByteDance’s agreement to stake in TikTok to multinational firm Oracle and retail company Walmart. The company had sought the US government’s approval for the deal but there has been no headway.
In September, a judge had temporarily blocked the Donald Trump administration’s order to ban TikTok for download in the US. He, however, did not stay the more comprehensive ban order on the app.
Trump has repeatedly alleged that TikTok poses a threat to his country’s national security because of Beijing’s influence. TikTok, on the other hand, has consistently denied the allegations and maintained that the company had “taken extraordinary measures” to protect the privacy of its users.
The US president had on September 10 refused to extend the deadline for ByteDance to sell TikTok’s American assets. “It’ll either be closed up or they’ll sell it,” Trump had said. “There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline.”
On August 6, Trump had issued executive orders banning transactions with the video app within 45 days if it did not sell off its assets. A week later, he issued another order and gave the company a 90-day ultimatum to close the deal.
The ban order does not prevent US companies from doing business with TikTok and WeChat outside the borders of the country. US companies like Walmart and Starbucks use WeChat’s embedded programmes to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China. The order will also not prohibit Apple, Google or others from offering TikTok or WeChat apps anywhere outside the US.