A federal judge has postponed the Trump administration’s threatened shutdown of TikTok in the US, finding a ban against the popular Chinese-owned app hampers free speech.
District Judge Wendy Beetlestone on Friday granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit challenging Trump’s order brought by a Pennsylvania comedian and two other TikTok creators. She also noted their concerns over their income and career opportunities.
The ban, she said, would “have the effect of shutting down, within the United States, a platform for expressive activity used by approximately 700 million individuals globally.”
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in August that bars any US transactions with TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, saying the data TikTok collects “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.” The data could allow China to track the location of federal employees and contractors, the executive order said. In September, a federal judged granted TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction against the order.
A separate executive order, issued later in August, ordered ByteDance to sell its US operations by Nov. 12, leading to a potential deal with Oracle and Walmart, which is currently up in the air.