TikTok tries to block Trump administration app store ban

TikTok on Sunday asked a federal judge to block the Trump administration from forcing Apple and Google to remove the popular video app from their US app stores ahead of a ban scheduled to come into effect at midnight.

The US commerce department had ordered TikTok to be removed last Sunday. But it extended the deadline after President Donald Trump gave preliminary approval for an agreement that would involve ByteDance, the Chinese owner of the app, giving a minority ownership stake to Oracle and Walmart.

ByteDance was forced to come up with a proposal after the US raised concern that Chinese ownership of TikTok could make it easier for China to spy on US citizens by forcing the company to hand over data on its users.

ByteDance and the US companies have until November 12 to finalise a deal under an executive order Mr Trump issued in August.

In a rare Sunday court hearing, lawyers for TikTok argued that banning the app now was senseless given that the companies remained in negotiations with the US government to address its national security concerns.

“How does it make sense to impose this app store ban tonight when there are negotiations under way that might make it unnecessary,” said John Hall, a Covington and Burling lawyer representing TikTok.

“This is just a blunt way to…

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