By Mukwuzi Joseph
The ban was halted after a 90-minute hearing, hours before it was to be implemented. However, no reason for the decision was released.
Amid repeated remarks by President Donald Trump that TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, was a threat to national security, a judge in Washington has temporarily blocked an order of the US administration that would have banned the popular video-sharing app from US smartphone app stores around midnight.
However, the court rejected the tech firm’s request to suspend a total ban, set to begin on November 12.
District Judge Carl Nichols issued a temporary injunction at the request of TikTok, which the White House has called a national security threat, alleging that its Chinese parent firm is tied to Beijing.
The judge’s order tells TikTok and the US to work out a schedule to proceed, and that typically means the court wants opposing parties to find middle ground.
“My sense is that it is a pragmatic splitting of the baby for the short term, to give a little time for them to resolve the disputes and come to a resolution.” said University of Richmond law school professor Carl Tobias.
Once lawyers get a chance to review the reasoning behind the judge’s decision, the US could appeal the decision putting a hold on the download ban.
After the judge’s order, the Commerce Department said in a statement it would comply with the injunction but “intends to vigorously defend the (executive order)… from legal challenges.”
A tentative deal unveiled last weekend would make Silicon Valley giant Oracle the technology partner for TikTok and a stakeholder in a new entity to be known as TikTok Global.
TikTok said Sunday it would “maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government” on the plan which got a preliminary approval last weekend from President Donald Trump.
It was unclear if the deal would be approved by Beijing, where some consider the US move an unjustified appropriation of Chinese technology.