San Francisco, United States:
The US judge, who stopped a ban on TikTok downloads on Monday, said President Donald Trump likely exceeded the law with the attempted move.
TikTok had shown that the measures against it “probably exceed the legal limits” of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which was cited in support of the ban, the judge said in his decision.
District Judge Carl Nichols, at TikTok’s request, issued an injunction calling the White House a national security threat arising from its parent company’s ties with the Beijing government.
Government ordinance tried to ban new downloads of the hugely popular video sharing app at midnight on Sunday.
“Plaintiffs have shown that they are likely to succeed with their IEEPA claims,” said Nichols in the written decision.
The law prevents a president from banning personal communications that contain nothing of value, the judge said.
Nichols argued that TikTok posts are informative.
“Currently, over 100 million Americans use TikTok to share their movies, photos, art, and news,” said Nichols in the ruling.
The ban would also have caused TikTok damage from which Richter said it could not recover.
“Of course, banning TikTok from US app stores would have the immediate and direct effect of stopping the influx of new users, likely driving those users to alternative platforms, and undermining TikTok’s competitive position,” wrote Nichols.
TikTok lawyers argued on file that the ban was “arbitrary and capricious”.
“We are pleased that the court has approved our legal arguments and issued an injunction,” TikTok said in a statement.
Government lawyers have argued the president has the right to take national security measures, saying the ban was necessary because of TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government through parent company ByteDance. “
Carl Tobias, a professor in the Law School at Richmond University, called the order “a short-term pragmatic split of the baby to give them some time to settle the disputes and find a solution.”
TikTok’s overarching lawsuit against the legality of Trump’s executive orders continues in court.
Outside the courtroom, TikTok may still attempt to work out a sale or alliance to allay U.S. concerns.
A tentative deal would make Silicon Valley giant Oracle a technology partner for TikTok and a stakeholder in a new company called TikTok Global.
Such an agreement is expected to be badly viewed by Beijing, where some view the US as an unjustified appropriation of Chinese technology.