TikTok vs. USA Opening Arguments Set for September—High-Profile Case Fast-Tracked Ahead of January 2025 Divestment Deadline

US vs TikTok
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US vs TikTok
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Photo Credit: Solen Feyissa

The TikTok vs. U.S. case has been fast-tracked on the schedule and opening arguments will be heard in September.

TikTok is challenging a recently passed U.S. law that requires Chinese company ByteDance to divest from TikTok by January 19 or face a ban of the platform. On May 14, a group of TikTok creators filed a lawsuit to block the ban, saying it would have a profound effect on their lives should TikTok be banned.

Under the schedule set by the U.S. appeals court, the creators, TikTok, and ByteDance must file legal briefs by June 20. The DoJ must file their brief by July 26 and reply briefs are due by August 15. Both TikTok and the Justice Department have sought a ruling by December 6 to seek review from the Supreme Court if necessary.

President Joe Biden signed the law on April 24, which gives ByteDance until January 19 to sell TikTok or the platform will be banned in the United States. The White House says Chinese-ownership of the platform must end based on national security concerns—it would rather not ban TikTok.

If the law goes into effect on January 19, it would prevent Apple and Google from offering the TikTok app in their respective app stores. It would also bar internet hosting services (AWS, Google) from supporting TikTok as long as ByteDance continues to own it.

Of primary concern are laws that require Chinese companies to hand over data to the Chinese government for intelligence gathering purposes. FBI Director Christopher Wray has also expressed concerns that the platform could be used to spread misinformation and propaganda among U.S. citizens to influence views, opinions, and elections within the United States. Congress passed the law with overwhelming bi-partisan support—more than three years after the initial ban on TikTok in all branches of the U.S. military.