The Commerce Department said Thursday that they are delaying the implementation of a regulation that would essentially shut down the Chinese-owned video app Tik Tok, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The regulation was set to take effect Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Under the law, Tik Tok would no longer appear on the app store, and all U.S. based companies would be prevented from offering it as a mobile app. Tik Tok would also be barred from using the web-hosting services of any U.S. based company, like Amazon and Alphabet, making the app essentially useless. (RELATED: TikTok Asks Court To Intervene As Government’s Deadline To Sell Off US Operations Arrives)
Last month, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia imposed a preliminary injunction against the shutdown after Tik Tok stars Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab, and Alex Chambers filed a lawsuit, the Journal reported. Beetlestone said that the government likely doesn’t have the power to impose the Tik Tok ban because the regulation “presents a threat to the ‘robust exchange of informational materials’.” The International Economic Powers Act, which the Trump administration relied on to impose the regulation, did not grant the administration power to take action against Tik Tok, Beetlestone said.
The Commerce Department cited Beetlestone’s preliminary injunction when making their decision, saying in a statement that Tik Tok will not be shut down “pending further legal developments.”
Tik Tok also filed an injunction for the ban in U.S. District Court in Washington, the Journal reported. The video app is asking for an injunction from U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols because they say different plaintiffs who have different interests are involved in the Philadelphia case. Also, the preliminary injunction in the Philadelphia case “is, by definition, temporary,” Tik Tok said in a court filing. If it were lifted, it would be “leaving Tik Tok’s entire business in jeopardy.”
In an order issued in August, President Donald Trump said that the popular video sharing app would be banned in the U.S, citing security concerns. However, he said that he would consider approving a divestiture to a U.S. company, the Journal reported.
Tik Tok is “focused on continuing to engage CFIUS and look forward to reaching a resolution that addresses their security concerns, even as we disagree with them,” the company said in response to the Commerce Department’s actions Thursday.