TikTok has officially announced its plans to sue the Trump administration as early as this week over the President’s executive order which would effectively ban TikTok unless it is sold to an American buyer by mid-September. WeChat users have also confirmed that they plan to follow the same line of legal action as TikTok against the “unconstitutional” orders.
President Trump signed an executive order on August 6th blocking all transactions with ByteDance to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.” In addition to his, President Trump has said that “there is credible evidence” leading him to believe ByteDance “might take action that threatens to weaken the national security of the United States.”
A separate order issued on Aug. 14 gave the Chinese tech giant 90 days to divest TikTok’s operations in the United States. ByteDance is in talks with two companies, Microsft and Oracle, who are interested in acquiring its popular video-clip sharing app. The challenge to August. 6 executive order does not affect the sale discussions with Microsoft and Oracle.
TikTok planning to sue the U.S government
TikTok spokesman Josh Gartner said in a statement to The Verge and several other news outlets.
“Even though we strongly disagree with the administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution. What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”
“To ensure that the rule of law prevails and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system.”
WeChat users to sue the Trump administration
In addition to ByteDance, a group of WeChat users is also suing the Trump administration over the president’s executive order banning transactions with the app, as reported by The Wall Stree Journal. The group of users is not directly affiliated with WeChat or its owner but is trying to block the president’s August 6th order which the group says is “unconstitutional” because it violates users’ due process and free speech rights.”
Trump’s order against WeChat states. Categorically refuting President Trump’s claim that “WeChat, like TikTok, may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party”, WeChat and TikTok have stated they are not security risks for the United States.
The WeChat user network is made up of individuals who say they depend on WeChat for personal and business purposes. An attorney for the group says it’s hoping that the Trump administration will have to provide notice for which WeChat transactions would be subject to the ban, according to the Journal. The ban is set to take place next month.
In addition to the users, many companies including Apple, Ford, Walmart, and more called on the White House to discuss the implications of the WeChat ban on American business. Leading iPhone manufacture, Foxconn, has also expressed major concerns over the potential ban of the popular messaging app.
Software giant Microsoft has officially provided a formal offer to ByteDance that would involve the takeover of TikTok’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But, recently multination software company Oracle held preliminary talks with ByteDance to settle the terms of a sale. It is unclear how Oracle’s interest in acquiring TikTok will impact Microsoft’s bid.