KEY POINTS

  • TikTok called President Trump's executive order banning the app in 45 days unjust for ignoring "due process," despite the company saying it has tried to work with the administration "in good faith"
  • TikTok has repeatedly denied sharing information with the Chinese government and says its has been as transparent with its users as it possibly can
    • Microsoft is currently in talks with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, to purchase the social media company in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia

In response to President Donald Trump’s ordering the apps ban in 45 days, TikTok has threatened legal action by arguing the Trump administration ignored “due process” in ordering its ban.

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

It’s the latest wrinkle in what has been a tense back-and-forth between TikTok and the Trump administration over TikTok’s parent company, Chinese multinational ByteDance. ByteDance’s ownership of TikTok has raised questions over privacy concerns and possible data sharing with the Chinese government.

“These risks are real,” Trump said in his executive order. “American companies and organizations have begun banning TikTok on their devices. The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security.”

However, TikTok has repeatedly argued these concerns are misplaced and it has not shared any information with the Chinese government.

“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request,” TikTok said. “In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to.”

TikTok also pointed to the Trump administration allowing Microsoft to negotiate with ByteDance for a potential purchase of the social media app. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. has been tapped to oversee negotiations and talks have a Sept. 15 deadline.

If the sale goes through, Microsoft would have ownership of the social media video app in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

President Donald Trump has set a deadline of mid-September 2020 for TikTok to be acquired by a US firm or be banned in the United States President Donald Trump has set a deadline of mid-September 2020 for TikTok to be acquired by a US firm or be banned in the United States Photo: AFP / Lionel BONAVENTURE