TikTok is filing a complaint in federal court to challenge a Trump administration order demanding the banning of the social media app.
“To ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the executive order through the judicial system,” a TikTok spokesperson said on Saturday, before the complaint was filed.
The complaint argues that the Trump administration ignored the company’s extensive efforts to address its concerns about the privacy and security of US user data.
“The executive order seeks to ban TikTok purportedly because of the speculative possibility that the application could be manipulated by the Chinese government,” the complaint reads.
“But, as the US government is well aware, [the] plaintiffs have taken extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s US user data, including by having TikTok store such data outside of China (in the United States and Singapore) and by erecting software barriers that help ensure that TikTok stores its US user data separately from the user data of other ByteDance products,” it continues.
The company also noted that key personnel responsible for TikTok are US citizens based in the United States and are therefore not subject to Chinese law.
“The Administration failed to follow due process and act in good faith, neither providing evidence that TikTok was an actual threat, nor justification for its punitive actions,” the company said in a statement.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order forcing the parent company ByteDance to divest from TikTok within 90 days, saying that the app’s data collection “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”
TikTok allows users to create short videos – often with some basic effects and music – and has become increasingly popular, particularly among a younger demographic.
The US military, along with India, has already banned its use and the US Congress is passing legislation to ban federal workers from downloading it onto their official devices.
TikTok says it does not officially operate in mainland China and has insisted that while it has a large operation in Beijing, it has a US chief executive and is strongly tied to the country.
US software giant Microsoft is currently negotiating with ByteDance on taking over TikTok in the US and a handful of other countries.