Trump administration gives ByteDance another week to sell TikTok. Despite the fact that just a few days ago a federal judge temporarily halted the process of banning TikTok, and while giving some air to ByteDance’s operations in the United States, it seems that the joy in the Chinese company has come to an end.
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The Trump administration, far from being limited by the temporary halt of the federal judge, has again set a deadline for the sale of ByteDance’s assets in the United States. The new deadline for the company to dispose of its assets on American soil (if it wants to continue operating) is December 4. It is being a confusing dance of dates as TikTok’s lawyers filed this new extension with the Courts of Appeals, but which seems not to limit that of last month’s federal judge in Pennsylvania.
As the United States Government has been pointing out, the intention is that by the deadline, ByteDance will have disposed of any tangible or intangible assets or property, wherever located, used to enable or support the operation of TikTok in the United States, all by December 4, 2020.
In another case filed by the company, the Pennsylvania case, the judge cautiously stopped the ban earlier this month by invoking consumers’ rights to use the application with respect to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The court, which is federal, defended in its brief that the requirement that ByteDance ceases operating through TikTok in the United States could constitute a violation of the law, as it considered the short videos created and exchanged on TikTok to be expressive and informative, and therefore “analogous to the ‘movies,’ ‘artwork,’ ‘photographs,’ and ‘cable news’ expressly protected by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Trump administration gives ByteDance another week to sell TikTok. The judge’s brief effectively stopped the U.S. Department of Commerce’s order to force ByteDance to sell its assets and allowed TikTok to operate as usual. Now, the stakes are not very clear in favor of the application after the notification of the court of appeals of the new extension, so we will have to wait until December 4 to know the meaning of it.