TikTok, ByteDance sue to block US law seeking sale or ban of app

TikTok said Tuesday it has sued the Biden administration in a bid to block a new law that will force its China-based parent company ByteDance to sell within a year or face a total ban of the app in the US.

Filed in a federal appeals court in Washington DC, the lawsuit seeks a court order to block implementation of the bipartisan legislation – which President Biden signed the bipartisan legislation into law just last month after it rapidly progressed through Congress.

TikTok argues the law, dubbed the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, is “unconstitutional” and that that divesture within its 12-month timeline is “simply not possible: not commercially, not technologically, not legally.”

TikTok said Tuesday it has sued the Biden administration.
TikTok said Tuesday it has sued the Biden administration. AP

“There is no question: the Act will force a shutdown of TikTok by January 19, 2025, silencing the 170 million Americans who use the platform to communicate in ways that cannot be replicated elsewhere,” the lawsuit says.

TikTok asked the court to find that the law “violates the US Constitution” as well as to grant “any further relief that may be appropriate.”

The Post has reached out to the White House and the House Select Committee on China for comment.

Critics have alleged that TikTok essentially functions as a weapon for the Chinese Communist Party that has facilitated everything from election interference to pro-terrorist propaganda and a teen mental health crisis.

Calls for a US ban reignited last year after data showed pro-Palestinian content appeared to have a far wider reach on TikTok than pro-Israel content.

Lawmakers were also alarmed after the emergence of a TikTok trend in which users shared videos supporting 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden’s infamous “Letter to America,” which was riddled with terrorist rhetoric and anti-Semitism.

TikTok has denied wrongdoing and touted its efforts to build a safe and secure – including a partnership with tech giant Oracle to store user data on US-based servers.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.