TikTok threatens to sue the Trump administration over the executive order barring US firms from doing business with its parent

  • TikTok has threatened to sue the Trump administration over Thursday’s executive order barring US citizens and companies from doing business with its Chinese parent company ByteDance.
  • TikTok responded to the order Friday, saying it was issued “without any due process.”
  • The executive order, set to take effect in September, would prohibit US individuals and companies from making “any transactions” with ByteDance. Another order on Thursday targeted the Tencent-owned WeChat.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

TikTok has threatened to sue the Trump administration over President Donald Trump’s executive order barring US companies and individuals from doing business with its parent company ByteDance.

Trump signed the executive order Thursday, arguing that the Chinese firm poses a national security risk.

“We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,” TikTok said in a statement published Friday.

“For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed,” it added. “What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

TikTok suggested that the executive order – set to take effect in September – was illegal and that it might challenge the diktat in court.

“We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts,” the company said.

This week reports emerged that the Trump administration was trying to force TikTok to sell off its US business or face a ban.Microsoft has publicly announced it’s pursuing acquisition talks for TikTok’s US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand businesses. Trump also issued a similar executive order on Thursday targeting the Tencent-owned WeChat.

TikTok accused the Trump administration of flouting the law by ignoring due process. “This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth,” it said.

Here’s TikTok’s response to the order:

“TikTok is a community full of creativity and passion, a home that brings joy to families and meaningful careers to creators. And we are building this platform for the long term. TikTok will be here for many years to come.

“We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.

“We made clear our intentions to work with the appropriate officials to devise a solution to benefit our users, creators, partners, employees, and the broader community in the United States. There has been, and continues to be, no due process or adherence to the law. The text of the decision makes it plain that there has been a reliance on unnamed “reports” with no citations, fears that the app “may be” used for misinformation campaigns with no substantiation of such fears, and concerns about the collection of data that is industry standard for thousands of mobile apps around the world. We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Centre, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to. We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.

“This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth. And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.

“We want the 100 million Americans who love our platform because it is your home for expression, entertainment, and connection to know: TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you. We prioritise your safety, security, and the trust of our community – always. As TikTok users, creators, partners, and family, you have the right to express your opinions to your elected representatives, including the White House. You have the right to be heard.”

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