TikTok was scheduled to be banned across the US and removed from app stores on Sunday at midnight, but a federal judge’s injunction against the Trump administration has blocked that for now, reports The New York Times.
The ban would’ve seen the short video app taken off app stores, which would have made it difficult for new users to download it on their mobile devices. It would also make it impossible for TikTok to push updates and bug fixes to its app via those stores. These restrictions would have damaged both its user experience, as well as its ability to grow its user base in the US.
The injunction comes just nine days after the US government announced a plan to ban TikTok from app stores; prior to that, the administration had set a deadline for TikTok’s operations in the country to be acquired by a US-based firm, largely to address data privacy concerns.
TikTok noted in a statement it was happy with the outcome of this hearing:
— TikTok_Comms (@tiktok_comms) September 28, 2020
How did this injunction take place? TikTok’s lawyers argued in a hearing on Sunday that having the app booted from stores just ahead of the election and in the midst of a pandemic ‘would impinge on the rights of potential new users to share their views.’ It appears this convinced judge Carl Nichols of the District Court for the District of Columbia.
As it stands, Oracle — along with Walmart — is slated to invest in TikTok Global, a company spun off from developer ByteDance that will include TikTok’s operations in the US and several other countries. Oracle will get a 12.5% stake in that new company and become its cloud services partner as well.
It’s clearly a messy state of affairs, and things will likely continue to get crazier in the coming weeks. The NYT noted that November will see a broader set of restrictions on TikTok. That battle to TikTok a-ticking, it seems, is going to be long and arduous.