A second U.S. judge has granted a preliminary injunction, which blocks the TikTok ban. Here’s the latest.
The injunction blocks the U.S. Commerce Department from imposing restrictions on TikTok. It effectively bars the United States government from forcing Apple and Google to remove the app from their respective App Stores.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols issued the order in response to a suit filed by ByteDance. It comes just a month after U.S. judge Wendy Beetlestone blocked the proposed restrictions set to go into effect on November 12th. Nichols was named to the bench by President Trump last year. He believes the Commerce Department may have overstepped its legal authority by trying to ban TikTok. He also stated the government “acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by failing to consider obvious alternatives.”
The Commerce Department says it plans to “vigorously defend” the executive orders calling for the TikTok ban. The agency says the executive order is “fully consistent with the law” and “promotes legitimate national security interests.” However, it notes, the government will continue to comply with both injunctions granted by the courts.
The order specifically enjoins the agency from barring specific types of transactions within the United States. That includes data hosting services, content delivery services, hosting, and other technical transactions.
So what’s happening with TikTok Global after a U.S. judge blocks the TikTok ban?
The Treasury Department said the government is still working with ByteDance to complete its divestment. The agency says there are “other steps necessary to resolve the national security risks.”
The Trump administration believes that ByteDance may provide the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with access to American data. To resolve the national security issue, he issued two executive orders forcing the banning of transactions with ByteDance. Another would require ByteDance to acquire an American partner to continue operating within the United States.
Both Oracle and Walmart are on board to take minority stakes in the newly launched TikTok Global. This entity would shift its U.S. assets to operate within the United States. So, for now, it looks like TikTok Global and the partnership with Walmart and Oracle is still on.
Another hearing with a U.S. appeals court will hear arguments on the App Store ban injunction on December 14th. If that court overturns Nichols’ decision, then a TikTok ban may still be on the table. That situation now seems unlikely, though. Meanwhile, U.S. competitors Instagram Reels and Triller are continually growing their userbase as TikTok’s fate hinges on court decisions.