Home   >   News

TikTok files appeal over "unconstitutional" US divest-or-ban law

TikTok claims it cannot separate from ByteDance and any concerns could be addressed less restrictively
TikTok files appeal over
  • TikTok faces a ban in the US if it doesn't sell to a non-Chinese company
  • ByteDance and TikTok argue they cannot be separated and that the bill is "unconstitutional"

TikTok has filed an appeal against the US Congress' recently passed law that obligates parent company ByteDance to sell the popular social media app or face a ban in the country.

As it stands, ByteDance has one year to sell TikTok in order to keep the app running in the US, but the challenge aims to overturn the new law and keep the social media platform active in ByteDance’s hands.

Importantly, the current ruling - which had overwhelming bipartisan support - demands TikTok’s sale to a non-Chinese company if the platform is to continue operations in the States.

As reported by NPR, the firm's petition against the ruling, filed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, argues a ban would be "unconstitutional" and is based upon "speculative and analytically flawed concerns".

Schrödinger's app

TikTok argued that the US ruling sets out unrealistic expectations for a sale, which it said is not on the card "commercially, not technologically, not legally".

"Banning TikTok is so obviously unconstitutional, in fact, that even the Act's sponsors recognised that reality, and therefore have tried mightily to depict the law not as a ban at all, but merely a regulation of TikTok's ownership," the company argued in its petition against the ruling.

Currently, the case is being made that no actual public evidence has been provided confirming the app’s use as a weapon of the Chinese government, and therefore a ban on a "national security" basis lacks grounding.

The filing adds that "even if" concerns around data security and manipulated content are indeed "grounded in fact", they "could be addressed through far less restrictive and more narrowly tailored means".