President Donald Trump’s administration has filed an appeal to a judge’s order from earlier this month that blocked the government’s attempts to ban TikTok in the U.S.
Trump’s long-running feud with the wildly popular app started over the summer but has hit a series of roadblocks in court.
The latest came on Dec. 7 when federal judge Carl Nichols blocked the ban and approved TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction, saying the administration “likely exceeded” the reach of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which was invoked in Trump’s executive order seeking to ban the app. The block stopped the administration’s order which would have prevented new downloads of TikTok on app stores in the U.S.
Nichols was the second judge to block an attempted ban, following an injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone in October. In late September, Nichols also delayed Trump’s ban.
But the saga continues. On Monday, the Trump administration appealed Nichols’ Dec. 7 approval of a preliminary injunction. In a court filing, the administration appealed Nichols’ order to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The Trump administration has asserted that TikTok is a national security risk because it is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance. The fear is that the Chinese government could force ByteDance to hand over user data. Trump tried to use the looming ban as a way to force the sale of TikTok to an American company.
TikTok has fiercely defended itself, saying that U.S. user data is stored in the U.S.
Amid the attempts to block the popular app, TikTok has worked on a deal with Oracle and Walmart that would create a new company to oversee U.S. operations. However, the deal has not yet been finalized.
With Trump’s presidency nearing its end, it remains a bit of an open question as to what President-elect Joe Biden will choose to do with the app.