Reuters reports that U.S. President Joe Biden has asked two federal appeals courts to dismiss the Department of Justice’s appeals against the court ruling that prevented a ban on TikTok. Last year, former President Donald Trump passed executive orders to ban the new downloads of TikTok in the country over allegations that the Chinese video-sharing app, TikTok shared U.S users’ data with the Chinese government. In addition, the administration asked the company to sell its U.S operations to an American company. The executive order included a ban on WeChat, another Chinese-owned social media app.
TikTok challenged the ban and a U.S. federal court stopped the ban from going into effect in September 2020. However, during its transition in December 2020, the former Trump administration filed an appeal against the court’s injunction which prevented the government from banning new downloads of the app.
President Biden seeks to un-do ban imposed on Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat by former President Trump
As per the report, the government departs have already initiated the withdrawal of restrictions on new downloads of TikTok in the United States.
The Commerce Department on June 22 formally withdrew a list of prohibited transactions with ByteDance-owned TikTok and Tencent-owned WeChat issued in September that sought to bar downloads of the apps.
The Justice Department said Monday that the government’s legal challenges were now moot. It asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Third Circuit to dismiss its appeals.
Having said that, the government has not yet decided on how to proceed with the WeChat ban and had instructed the Commerce Department to monitor the apps and make recommendations within 120 days “to protect U.S. data acquired or accessible by companies controlled by foreign adversaries.” On June 28, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told the publisher:
The department was “just getting started” with its review that will include an “evidence-based” analysis. The whole point of the executive order is to take really strong steps to protect Americans’ data from collection and utilization by foreign adversaries.
At the time was reported that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg pushed the former Trump administration to scrutinize TikTok and Apple because the social media app has gained unprecedented popularity which challenges Instagram and Apple was about to launch the App Tracking Transparency feature which jeopardizes Facebook’s targeted ads business model.